Volunteers, donors sought for fifth annual Thanksgiving dinner fundraiser

  • Radio personality Robert “Bobby C” Campbell, shown in Greenfield in 2017, passes out homemade pies that were purchased through donations for families to have on Thanksgiving. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

For the Recorder
Published: 10/23/2020 3:02:19 PM
Modified: 10/23/2020 3:02:08 PM

GREENFIELD — With the holidays drawing nearer, the weather getting colder and food insecurity in Franklin County the highest it’s been in years, the annual Thanksgiving dinner fundraiser led by Robert “Bobby C” Campbell is once again underway to provide for residents in need.

To sponsor a family costs $50, which provides a 20-pound turkey, gravy, stuffing mix, rolls, cranberry sauce, potatoes, butternut squash, carrots and apple pie. Those receiving meals can either choose to receive the ingredients and cook themselves, or pick up pre-cooked meals.

In place of the community meals normally served to hundreds, hot meals will be distributed in a drive-thru system, at Living Waters Assembly of God, 450 Davis St., on Thanksgiving Day at noon and at the Salvation Army, 72 Chapman St., on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

Campbell said he has noticed food insecurity and unemployment in Franklin County unparalleled to anything he’s seen in recent years. He’s expecting to feed up to 1,600 people this November, 300 more than last year.

“A lot of community members are coming to me saying, ‘This person doesn’t want to ask, but could you give them some help?’” he explained. In addition to individuals, Campbell said “a lot of (social service) agencies are asking for more food this year.”

“I told them it wasn’t a problem, ” Campbell added. “Anyone who needs a meal will get one.”

Campbell started the fundraiser five years ago when friends reached out to ask if he knew how to help community members in need find a Thanksgiving meal. When he found out that the Salvation Army didn’t have one, he started one himself.

The meals are distributed wherever volunteers find people going without.

“We have people from the church that will go down to the common in Greenfield and leave meals for homeless people so they don’t have to walk,” Campbell said.

Meals are delivered to families associated with the REACH early intervention program, Montague Catholic Social Ministries, The United Arc, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Bernardston Senior Center. The project grows every year, and now also donates to the Stone Soup Café’s Thanksgiving dinner.

The food is acquired in bulk from Market Basket in Athol and Foster’s Supermarket in Greenfield.

“That way,” said Campbell, “we’re able to save money and feed a family all that food for just $50.”

In particular, Campbell thanks the Knights of Columbus in Greenfield, Oak Ridge Detachment Marine Corps League in Bernardston, the Bernardston Kiwanis Club and the local business owners who have donated to the fundraiser for their support.

“It’s a total community project run by local organizations who have been a big part of giving,” he said.

Uncooked meal packages will be provided to organization representatives at a drive-thru. Volunteers will pack the food and students will deliver the packages to vehicles.

“If people need help we’re willing to do it, and if people want to volunteer that’s great as well,” Campbell said.

To request a meal, sponsor a family or volunteer, call Campbell at 413-834-4222.

Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
Fax: (413) 772-2906


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