Salvation Army and Family Pathways team up to donate 500 Thanksgiving baskets

Salvation Army and Family Pathways teamed up this year to distribute 500 Thanksgiving baskets to families in need.

Family Pathways Coordinator Jason Southworth and Kory Erickson, Unit Director for Isanti County Salvation Army, distribute Thanksgiving baskets filled with food to families. Photos by Elizabeth Sias

Family Pathways Coordinator Jason Southworth and Kory Erickson, Unit Director for Isanti County Salvation Army, distribute Thanksgiving baskets filled with food to families. Photos by Elizabeth Sias

Each organization purchased items for 250 baskets, which contained a turkey, two cans of vegetables, two packages of dinner rolls, one pound of butter, a can of sweet potatoes, a can of cranberries, a box of stuffing and a box of mashed potatoes.

Together, the organizations donated $12,000 worth of food. Isanti County residents picked up their baskets Tuesday, Nov. 21, at United Methodist Church in Cambridge.

“Right now the need in the community is so great,” said Kory Erickson, Unit Director for Isanti County Salvation Army.

Salvation Army and Family Pathways have been distributing Thanksgiving baskets separately for years, but this is the first time the organizations teamed up.

Volunteer Brittany Mutka helps distribute Thanksgiving baskets.

Volunteer Brittany Mutka helps distribute Thanksgiving baskets.

“It only seems right to team up,” Family Pathways Coordinator Jason Southworth said.

The food shelf serves 560 families each month, with around 60 new families signing up per month, he said. That equals 53,000 pounds of food per month.

“Five-hundred families are getting a wonderful Thanksgiving meal because of all this,” Southworth said. “The best part about doing this is seeing the smiles on their faces. There’s kids and families that are going to have Thanksgiving meals that wouldn’t have had them if we weren’t doing this.”

The baskets are paid for using money raised at the Salvation Army red kettles during the holiday season, Erickson said. To volunteer as a bell ringer, call 763-689-1655.

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