United Way of Greater New Bedford is hosting its fifth annual Hunger Heroes Project: Families Helping Families. Families are being encouraged to volunteer together on November 23, National Family Volunteer Day, to help give other families a happy Thanksgiving. During this event, 1,000 Thanksgiving packages will be prepared to be delivered to food pantries in Greater New Bedford by United Way’s Hunger Commission. Food has been donated through a variety of local food drives including Hunger Heroes Food Drop, Acushnet Company, Scouting for Food, and drives being held at over 40 organizations and businesses in Greater New Bedford. The goal was to collect 20,000 pounds of donated items to create these Thanksgiving packages. Each package will be inclusive of canned vegetables, cornbread mixes, cranberry sauce, dessert mixes, gravy, instant potatoes, and stuffing.

Volunteers will work approximately two-hour shifts completing a variety of tasks including sorting the food from local drives, assembling the packages, wrapping the packages, and repacking them onto the Hunger Commission Truck. We will also have Thanksgiving Card Making for kids that may be too young to help with the general packaging.

Volunteers were required to pre-register on the Volunteer Southcoast Site. As of today, 250 volunteers have signed up, and all of the volunteer slots are full.

The event will be held at Keith Middle School, located at 225 Hathaway Blvd in New Bedford. Shifts run from 8:30 am to 3 pm, with volunteers arriving 15 minutes prior to their designated time slot for proper instruction.

For the first time ever, I will be volunteering at the Hunger Heroes Project: Families Helping Families. I’ve been looking for a way to give back to the community, and I’m so glad this opportunity presented itself right before the Thanksgiving holiday.