WEB EXTRA: Volunteers to pack meal boxes for Thanksgiving at Christmas

Volunteers will gather at Mountaire Farms in Selbyville at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 17, to pack boxes of food the less fortunate will receive in time for Christmas.

About 2,500 boxes will each be filled with a roaster chicken, corn, green beans, yams, cranberries, stuffing and brownie mix. Each box will feed a family of four.

Known as Thanksgiving at Christmas, the event will be done in the company warehouse at 55 Hosier Street in Selbyville.

Churches, food pantries and other non-profit organizations that have pre-registered will pick up the boxes and deliver them to families throughout Delmarva. Volunteers are welcome for the packing event and should report to the Selbyville warehouse at 8 a.m. For more information, contact Cathy Bassett at (302) 934-3050.

This year, Mountaire celebrated 25 years of packing boxes for Thanksgiving for Thousands. Mountaire also feeds families at Christmas and Easter.

For Thanksgiving, 10,000 boxes were packed on the morning of Monday, Nov. 25, then distributed, with each box containing a chicken, corn, green beans, yams, cranberry sauce, stuffing mix and brownie mix.

At the event, Roger Marino, director of public relations for Mountaire, who started the food drive 25 years ago, was surprised when Mountaire President Phil Pylar presented him with the President’s Award.

“We can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done,” Pylar said.

“You know what? It’s been a pleasure,” Marino replied, giving the credit to the many volunteers who return each year. He’s watched some of them grow up, he said, grinning down at them from the second level of the warehouse where he stood with Pylar. Nearby, more volunteers worked in a tent.

About 1 million people have been fed at Thanksgiving during the 25 years.

Only 300 boxes were packed the first year, but the number has increased to 10,000, “all due to your help,” Pylar said.

“There are more people in need now. Ten thousand boxes is an enormous number when you think of all of the food inside and the fact that we put in each one a 7.5 to 8-pound roaster chicken,” Marino said.

Thanksgiving boxes were to be distributed in Delaware, but also in Wicomico County, Md., and into Virginia.


By Susan Canfora
Staff Reporter