Many of the families served by Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas enjoyed a Thanksgiving meal last week thanks to the 2,743 turkeys; 1,285 meal kits; and over $11,000 generously donated by our parishes and several community partners.

Church of the Ascension – Overland Park, Curé of Ars – Leawood, Divine Mercy – Gardner, Church of the Holy Cross – Overland Park, Holy Trinity – Lenexa, St. Ann – Prairie Village and St. Michael the Archangel – Overland Park were among the parishes that held turkey drives. Seaboard Foods and Jack Stack BBQ also donated turkeys.

Nearly 1,000 turkeys and all the fixings came from Creative Planning, who has made it a tradition to provide a Thanksgiving meal for families served by our Wyandotte County pantries, as well as for our seniors who volunteer with our Foster Grandparent Program. The giving didn’t stop there. Hundreds of Creative Planning employees and their families volunteered at our Hope Distribution Center, assembling and distributing the meals.

For their Thanksgiving Works of Mercy project, Curé of Ars-School of Religion students put together 339 Thanksgiving meal kits for those served by Catholic Charities. Each bag also included a Thanksgiving blessing note from the students. Additional meal kits were donated by Corpus Christi – Lawrence, Most Pure Heart of Mary – Topeka, St. Benedict – Atchison, St. John Paul II – Olathe and Sacred Heart of Jesus – Shawnee.

“In Kansas, 1 in 8 people face hunger. Among kids, the statistic is 1 in 6. Food is one of the basic human needs. As human beings, we all have the right to have our basic human needs of food, clothing and shelter met. However, this is not the reality. Many families live paycheck to paycheck and don’t know where their next meal is coming from,” explained Camille Pickhinke, Director of Community Engagement. “The holiday season brings extra stress to families who are living in crisis. The generosity from our parishes and community partners in all our 21 counties allows us, as an agency, to be the hands and feet in the communities we serve.”