Thanksgiving dinner groceries arrived early for 37 families Sunday, Nov. 18, thanks to donations coordinated by Morgan Hill-based St. Catherine Parish and the Learning and Loving Education Center.
“We provide them with as much of a fresh traditional Thanksgiving meal” as possible, said Deepu Kochuparambil of St. Catherine Parish. “We used to do turkeys until recently when we found out that many of the families don’t have the means within their homes to cook a turkey, so we switched to giving hams.”
Kochuparambil, the ministry coordinator for youth and young adults at St. Catherine Parish, said along with ham, this year’s food drive provided families with a complete holiday meal including stuffing, gravy mix, fresh fruits, vegetables, potatoes, cranberry sauce, bread rolls, pie, whipped cream and cider.
Kochuparambil said St. Catherine receives a list of families in need from the Learning and Loving Education Center in Morgan Hill, which does most of the preparation for the families in advance of the food drive.
“The only other prep work is getting the word out for donations and volunteers from the parish and organizing the delivery list. All the donations, sorting, and delivering happens the day of,” said Kochuparambil.
This year, because of some extra generous donations, St. Catherine was also able to provide some families with a gift card to help them beyond the one meal.
“The best part about this work for me is seeing parishioners I don’t normally interact with come to help, and I think for many of the volunteers, it is eye opening for them to see some of the homes and conditions that people within our community live in,” said Kochuparambil.