On the drizzly Monday before Thanksgiving, seven Trinity staff members loaded five cars full of 100 Thanksgiving meals and turkeys to deliver to two community partner locations. The 2021 Thanksgiving Drive, like every year, was a community effort. Students from the Annual Community Service Event Staff (ACES) coordinated with Director of Community Service and Civic Engagement Joe Barber to recruit donations; faculty, staff, and students from across campus donated; ACES students shopped and packed bags; and our community partners at the Expeditionary Learning Academy at Moylan School (ELAMS) and A Place of Grace Food Pantry distributed the meals to Hartford families.
COVID has brought a new set of opportunities and challenges to the Thanksgiving Drive. The College community stepped up during the pandemic years with strong support. Last year, the community helped make the 2020 fundraising effort the most successful fundraising year in the more than 25 years of the Drive’s existence. This year, the fundraising support remained strong and the Office of Community Service and Civic Engagement raised the same amount of funds as last year’s record year.
The increased fundraising support was important because the cost of purchasing food for the Drive went up significantly this year. In addition to increased costs, ACES student leaders Michaela Anton ’22 and Elizabeth Densen ’22 ran into a problem sourcing the turkeys and had to visit multiple grocery stores to get all of the food needed to fill the baskets.
“We had some difficulty securing 100 turkeys this year due to the supply chain issue. We had to call seven different stores until we found one able to supply the turkeys,” said Densen.
Thanks to the efforts of the Trinity community and the multi-year partnerships with ELAMS and A Place of Grace, the drive came together and all the meals were delivered and distributed to families in time for Thanksgiving.
The Thanksgiving Drive allows the Trinity community to partner with Hartford organizations to help meet community needs, and it is also an opportunity to advance student learning in the city. “The Thanksgiving Food Basket Drive is the perfect opportunity for ACES members to form meaningful connections with the Hartford community. We are so grateful for their dedication and continuous efforts to give back,” says Anton.
With gratitude for all involved, we look forward to continuing this community tradition next year.
View a WFSB Channel 3 news clip of delivery day here.
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