Students Help Provide Thanksgiving-in-a-Box


Nate Hetzer, Staff Reporter, Senior

The weeks leading up to the Thanksgiving season, usually joyful, have been, wrought with gloom in 2020. They have been overcast by the shadow of the pandemic and the struggles of its aftermath. That’s why there’s all the more reason to focus on helping others more than ever. With 2021 fast approaching, the Thanksgiving-in-a-Box program has defied the year’s push toward defeatism, continuing to do work for others for a 15th year. 

The Thanksgiving-in-a-Box program delivers boxes of food with enough to feed 6-8 member households that lack the necessary funds to hold a holiday meal. Pelham students and staff have been and continue to be a part of this altruistic program.

Pelham Memorial High School teachers and staff interested in donating can stop by room 230, though anyone interested can put a box of their own together.  Simply assemble this list of items in a box (though it is noted that the ham should be separate from the box) and bring it to Huguenot Memorial Church between 9 AM and 5 PM from November 21 to 24.  

  • 1 pre-cooked sliced spiral ham (8-10 pounds – you will find these in the meat section of your grocery store. Please, no canned hams)
  • 2 (28-32oz) bags of rice
  • 6 (15 oz) canned vegetables (any kind of vegetable that is available due to COVID shortages)
  • 1 (5 pound) bag of potatoes –approximately 12 potatoes
  • 1 (3 pound) bag of apples – approximately 8-10 apples
  • 1 (1 pound) box of pasta (any kind)
  • 1 (24 oz) jar of tomato sauce (any kind)
  • 1 bag/container of cookies (Oreos and the like kind of packaging are perfect)
  • 2 (64oz) containers juice (please no cider or anything that needs to be refrigerated!)

The Foundations Program here at PMHS is engaged in their own contribution to the charity.  For the third year in a row, Mr. Michael Solazzo and the Foundations Program are assembling their own Thanksgiving boxes. 

Solazzo said the program was “… something to give back to the community, it’s the spirit of giving.”

Kerry Mooney, a fellow staff member for the program, Mooney went on to show off the boxes, designed by the students of the Foundations Program, ready to be filled in preparation for their Wednesday store run.  She commented on how important community involvement is.

“It’s local, it’s doable… we used to do a can drive but this carries it right into the community.”

Of course, COVID-19 has been a concern in many circles with Thanksgiving fast approaching.  Between family gatherings, vacations, and shopping sprees, some fear the holiday itself is a petri dish for pandemics.  Huguenot Church (the charity’s organizer) is clearly addressing these concerns. It has established several new guidelines pertaining directly to COVID-19.  Families volunteering to pack the boxes work in family pods, with shifts broken up so that different volunteer groups never come in contact, to say nothing of the ample hand sanitizer and disposable glove supplies used by those volunteering.

For those unable to shop a donation of $69 will cover the costs of a Thanksgiving dinner for 6-8 people.  To make a monetary contribution to Thanksgiving-in-a-Box, please contact Gina Marie Cantarella at [email protected] or call (914)305-6876. So, in spite of the shadow of COVID, the organizers of Thanksgiving-in-a-Box want to make sure that all families can recognize that this year there is still much to be thankful for.