Volunteers distributed 2,000 free holiday meal boxes in Kennewick

2nd Harvest held their 3rd Annual Turkey Drive Saturday, November 17th, at the Benton County Fairgrounds.

Volunteers gathered at 2nd Harvest in Pasco on Thursday, November 15th, to assemble 2,000 holiday meal boxes for families in need. They listened to Christmas music and formed an assembly line to get as many boxes done as possible.

On Saturday, hundreds of people lined up outside of Building #20 to receive a box for their family. Though the event didn’t start until 11 a.m., some people arrived at 6:30 a.m. to make sure they got a good spot in line.

This year, 2nd Harvest allowed anyone who showed up to get a box for their family. Development Manager, Jean Tucker, saw people helping families that are struggling and couldn’t be at the event.

Tucker mentioned that in past years the volunteers were giving out hand-warmers and the conditions were too cold for people to stand outside, but today that wasn’t the case.

“The weather’s great,” Tucker said, “It’s just a beautiful day to help feed families in need.”

This year, the Turkey Drive had one building for people to wait in and one where they could pick up a box. There was complimentary coffee, holiday music, and children got to play outside.

The meal boxes contained a turkey, apples, bread, canned goods, and other festive foods inside. Castle Event Catering in Richland partnered with 2nd Harvest to provide special recipes that incorporated all of the ingredients in the box.

“We have a passion for working with 2nd Harvest,” founder of Castle Event Catering, Kathy J. Craig said, “because of their dedication to both serving people of our community, with resources from our community.”

The recipe lists came in English and Spanish and featured Columbia Basin Roasted Potatoes, Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey, and Roasted Asparagus.

Volunteers helped carry the meal boxes to cars and made sure everyone had what their families needed. Most volunteers were provided by the event sponsors, like STCU and United Healthcare.

The Community Outreach Representative for United Healthcare, Efrain Quiroz, went to all three Turkey Drive events hosted by 2nd Harvest. Quiroz said it is an incredible process and everyone involved in the event is doing their part.

“How grateful everyone is and how willing they are to come out and help folks in need during this time of the year is just overwhelming to be a part of that.”

Halfway through the event, the line stretched to the entrance gate of the Fairgrounds. Volunteers gave out boxes until supplies ran out.

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