United Way of Southwest Michigan, Meijer join forces for Operation Thanksgiving

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — Residents of Berrien and Cass counties are stepping up to join United Way in a national day of service on Nov. 17 that celebrates the power of families who work together to support their communities.

United Way of Southwest Michigan is pairing Meijer’s desire to give help to families in need and with local families who want an opportunity to volunteer together for the holidays, said United Way officials. On. Nov. 17, volunteers will help unload turkeys, assemble “Thanksgiving to-go” kits and distribute them to families. The kits will contain a frozen turkey or precooked ham, a box of instant mashed potatoes, a gallon of milk, butter, a box of stuffing, a can of green beans, a can of cranberry dressing, a can of turkey gravy, a pack of dinner rolls and an apple pie.

Thanks to sponsorship from Meijer store in Stevensville and Benton Harbor, 150 kits will be made available to low-income families in Berrien and Cass counties.

“Supporting the communities we serve, the importance of family, advocating for United Way and combating hunger are all very important to us at Meijer, which made the decision to support Operation Thanksgiving incredibly easy,” said Rob Vassar, store director at the Stevensville Meijer. “Helping families enjoy a special meal together is a very simple way for us to give thanks to our customers and support our communities. A number of our staff will be volunteering on Nov. 17, and everyone is looking forward to making a very important difference in the lives of our neighbors.”

The event will take place at two locations, to be disclosed, in Benton Harbor and Dowagiac. Volunteers will pack the kits from 8 to 11 a.m. and then another shift of volunteers will distribute the kids from noon to 2:30 p.m.

Those in need of Thanksgiving food assistance can register in advance to receive a “Thanksgiving To-Go” kit by calling 2-1-1.

For more information, visit volunteer.uwsm.org or email volunteer@uwsm.org.

United Way of Southwest Michigan fights for the Health, Education and Financial Stability of every person in every community, according to United Way officials. By harnessing resources from corporate, nonprofit and public partners, the organization provide immediate assistance to our most vulnerable populations while addressing the root causes of the community’s longstanding challenges and changing lives for the better, they added.

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