Delivering Thanksgiving baskets offers way to ‘give back’

Ralph Cook, left, coordinator of the St. Anthony Thanksgiving food baskets, loads a trailer with the help of volunteers Nov. 20 at the Davenport parish.

By Anne Marie Amacher

DAVENPORT — For more than 20 years, Bob Jasper has helped deliver food baskets to those in need. The Davenport resident and member of St. Anthony Parish continued that tradition Nov. 20 by delivering Thanksgiving baskets.

“There are a lot more people in need at this time of year,” Jasper said. “I’ve done it so long it has become a tradition for me.”

Parishioner Lynn Meyers said she delivers baskets because there are many homebound individuals and families that cannot afford to buy the items needed for a good Thanksgiving meal. “I was in that situation myself years ago,” she said. “I want to give back to the community because they gave to me.”

Tina Wagschal and her children, members of St. Anthony’s, believe delivering food baskets to those in need is the right thing to do. “We get great joy in doing this.”


Coordinator and parishioner Ralph Cook said 927 Thanksgiving food baskets were assembled this year. “Multiply that by three and we’re actually feeding about 2,781 people,” he said, because the average family that receives a basket has three members.

This year St. Anthony’s offered parishioners the opportunity to sponsor a food basket for $25, said Sister Judy Herold, SSND, the parish’s pastoral associate. She noted a “great outpouring of support” to sponsor baskets. When families donated money, they had the opportunity to write a note of Thanksgiving wishes for the basket recipients. Sr. Herold assembled and photocopied the paper wishes before placing them in the sponsored Thanksgiving baskets, along with a prayer.

Among the many volunteers were high school students, athletes from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, the Summit program in Davenport, Father Apo Mpanda, St. Anthony’s pastor, and other parishioners and members of the Quad-City community.

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