Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis stands with volunteers and officials from the Friendly House and the Worcester Sharks as the Friendly House begins to distribute Thanksgiving meals to 2,000 area families.
(Sam Bonacci, MassLive.com)
The Friendly House will be hard at work preparing Thanksgiving dinner for 2,000 Worcester residents Thursday night.
“This is all for our families,” said Gordon Hargrove, executive director of the Friendly House, of the roughly 50,000 pounds of food that will be given out. “We want to make this a little bit brighter of a time of a Thanksgiving for people who otherwise would not have one.”
Over the course of the next three days, 2,000 families will cycle through the Friendly House to receive the complete makings of a Thanksgiving meal. This food not only means these families can have a holiday meal, but the money saved can mean the difference in a heating or electricity bill getting paid. It takes hundreds of volunteers to make it happen though, according to Hargrove.
Various local organizations have pitched in to make sure those served by the Friendly House can have a Thanksgiving, said Hargrove. Among them are the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, which has been involved for the last eight years.
“We’re all trying to make Worcester a better place,” said Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis, whose office hosted a food drive with the Worcester Sharks hockey league. “All the people around us and in this community understand we can’t do it alone, so we have to do it together.”
The partnership extends to the Worcester Sharks and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The meals will be distributed to families in Worcester with children who registered ahead of time. The families are all in the area that the Friendly House’s food bank, located in the Grafton Hill area, normally serves.
“I’ve learned one thing about Worcester: it is a special place. We aren’t too big to lose track of each other, but we aren’t too small to be in everyone’s business,” said Evangelidis. “We really are just the perfect size where we can make a difference.”