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St. Vincent de Paul distributes thousands of Thanksgiving meal kits

Between $125,000 to $150,000 worth of food is being distributed Monday and Tuesday.

BOISE — For those who struggle to put food on the table, Thanksgiving dinner can be an extra hardship.

Sadly, the cost of a turkey and all the trimmings just isn't an option for some Treasure Valley families.

For the 43rd year in a row, St. Vincent de Paul of Southwest Idaho is making sure no one in Ada County goes hungry this turkey day.

"So, each of those boxes was donated by a family who put that box together for a family in need," said Melanie Mclenna, a volunteer.

A whole turkey, an entire bag of potatoes, stuffing, pie crust, vegetables and more, all inside each box.

"It runs between $125,000 to $150,000 worth of food and that food comes in in two days and goes out in two days," said Ralph May, Executive Director for Southwest Idaho St. Vincent De Paul.

Volunteers will distribute more than 2,500 of these boxes to people in need in Ada County.

"To pull this off takes over 600 volunteers," Mclenna said.

Volunteers are from area churches, organizations and businesses.

And for recipients who aren't savvy in the kitchen, each box comes with cooking instructions to guarantee a perfectly cooked feast.

"Most of these people, they are here because ordinarily they couldn't afford a nice Thanksgiving meal," Mclenna said.

"They are doing a great job down here and I appreciate the help very much," said Cheryl Mahaffey.

Mahaffey is part of the 15 to 20 percent of Idahoans who are food insecure.

"I'm on Social Security, it’s really hard for me to get anything for Thanksgiving and stuff," Mahaffey said.

The amount of people in need, like Mahaffey, is growing.

"Last year over 11,000 people who ate because of this and this year we are going to be way over 12,000, maybe approaching 13,000 people," May said.

A growing need that volunteers hope to continue to meet for years to come.

"No one, no one should go hungry during the holidays," May said.

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