Campus Community Supports Thanksgiving Dinners for the Food Insecure

Merrimack College Campus Ministry broke with Thanksgiving tradition this year when it asked for financial donations in lieu of food for this year’s holiday dinner drive. The idea paid off as the community raised over  $7,000 in donations to feed the food-insecure in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

  • The College community raised more than $7,000 to help feed the food insecure for Thanksgiving thi...
    The College community raised more than $7,000 to help feed the food insecure for Thanksgiving this year.

Merrimack College Campus Ministry broke with Thanksgiving tradition this year when it asked for financial donations in lieu of food for this year’s holiday dinner drive. The idea paid off as the community raised over  $7,000 in donations to feed the food-insecure in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

“The cash donations far exceeded our expectations,” said the Rev. Ray Dlugos, O.S.A., the vice president of Mission & Ministry.

With the help of Sodexo and its General Manager Bob Wilkey, the food drive maximized its buying power to purchase food in bulk giving the campus the opportunity to donate 170 full and partial meals to Neighbors in Need, a non-profit in Lawrence. The meals went out for delivery on Tuesday to Neighbors which then distributed them to residents in Methuen and South Lawrence those who otherwise wouldn’t have a Thanksgiving meal. 

About 40 volunteers signed up to work along an assembly line putting baskets together in the Sakowich Campus Center’s MPR Monday Nov. 25, 2019. The baskets included a 12- to 14-pound turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, vegetables, potatoes, beans, dinner rolls and an apple pie.

Lindsey Baillie ’19, a health science major from Pembroke, Massachusetts who is graduating at the end of the semester, was on the food line Monday.

“It’s exciting to see everything the community has given and be able to feed people a Thanksgiving dinner,” Baillie said.

Edison Chalas ’20, a political science major from Lynn, Massachusetts, is troubled by the number of people that are food insecure and wanted to make sure he did something to help them by volunteering on the food line.

“I think it’s a really good way to help those in need,” he said.