Salvation Army and St. Vincent's bring back Thanksgiving meals for those in need

    (Photo courtesy of St. Vincents de Paul Juneau)

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The two organizations are planning to distribute free Thanksgiving meals.

    Dave Ringle, Executive Director for St. Vincent de Paul, and Major Gina Halverson from the Salvation Army joined Dano on Capital Chat.

    They gave details on the upcoming community Thanksgiving meals.

    Ringle said St Paul's Thanksgiving food baskets have improved for the better since they adjusted them due to COVID.

    "Ours is a continuation and it's actually changed because of COVID. For the better. We are doing Thanksgiving-distributed food baskets. And we're covering both the Glory Hall and St. Vincent DePaul. So there's one place to drop off food and make donations. And instead of having everybody come and pick them up on Saturday, November 19th, we will have about 80 volunteers hopefully, go out and distribute our Thanksgiving baskets to the family. So we're going out and visiting the families and bringing the food to them."

    Halverson said what Salvation Army's plans are.

    "It's exciting to be able to come back together, although this time is going to be at the Yacht Club. People are going to be able to sit down in person and enjoy a hot meal with a beautiful view. Thanksgiving from 11 to 1, so if you don't have a place to go, and you just want to be a part of something bigger, come on down and join us."

    Halverson said masks are optional, and tables will be spread out for social distancing.

    All of the food will be prepared and set out, and Halverson is excited to celebrate an in-person Thanksgiving.

    Ringle said how to donate food, money, or time to those in need.

    "If you want to help out with the Thanksgiving baskets, you can go to our website svdpjuneau.org. The top of the events banner is the Thanksgiving baskets, there's a link to sign up. There is also a list of things that we need. Started with stuffing, corn, cranberry, mashed potatoes, beans, yams, and chicken broth. We're really not having a problem with corn and beans. But instant mashed potatoes, yams, those are the things. If you want to donate pies, turkeys, and turkey breasts, bring them to 8617 Teal Street. We have freezers available this week, we'll have a box outdoors next week to put everything in. So if you want to donate food, bring it to 8617 Teal Street. If you want to donate money because we order a lot of stuff ahead of time. If we order it, you can donate at svdpjuneau.org. Click on the donate now button. If you want to sign up for delivery, we have a link for volunteers at the bottom of the page too."

    Ringle said their goal is 80 volunteers to distribute up to 400 baskets.

    Halverson said Salvation Army is also in need of volunteers.

    "We need servers, we need the cleanup crew, the setup crew, we need people to help just give out and welcome people. We need beverage workers. If you'd like to volunteer, you can call us at 586-2046. And our volunteer coordinator will get a hold of you."

    Ringle spoke to St. Vincent de Paul's housing as they head into winter.

    "We'll be doing Thanksgiving baskets then Christmas. We are actually continuing some of the remodelings of our housing. It's been a challenge because like everybody, our costs have increased. And fortunately, our donations, our thrift store sales are, continue to increase. So we're our housing is full. Anything that empties gets filled as quickly as we can get the paperwork processed. So you get to we're keeping our 100 units of housing full. The biggest challenge I think that every social service agency sees right now is hopefully finding enough housing for the winter and enough shelter for the winter. The number of people needing shelter and needing housing has increased in this town and it's opened up a little bit. So we're finding we're able to get some people who are stabilized in our shelter into housing, which opens up shelter room. But we're gonna have to continue that throughout the winter to keep up. I'm just hoping that the housing opens up a little bit. We continue to find places for people who are getting their lives back together and in need of shelter and housing."

    Halverson shared Salvation Army's plans for the winter.

    "We're doing really well. We have people already filling out for Christmas. We do toys. And we're also going to do our Christmas food box with Racheal MacLeod's group. And so we have a lot of things going on. And people are able to sign up early online if they'd like to, if they need help with toys, or if they need help with food boxes for the Christmas season."

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