By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets distributed by St. Anthony Parish will change this year.
Pastoral Associate John Cooper said the parish typically distributes 900 baskets at Thanksgiving and 700 at Christmas.
This year, recipients will receive a voucher for $15 for a turkey at Thanksgiving and a separate voucher for $15 for a ham at Christmas at HyVee. Recipients may pick up the vouchers along with other food items at the parish’s new food pantry to fill out their meal, Cooper said. “We could use help in stocking our pantry with items for the Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.” The pantry seeks potatoes, stuffing, canned green beans and butter, among other food items for the holidays.
Recipients must show proof of Davenport residency with a photo identification (including address) or a photo identification and a piece of mail showing the current address. “There are no call-ins or picking up for others,” he said.
The Thanksgiving sign-up and voucher distribution will be held at McAnthony Window and at the food pantry on Nov. 17 from 1-3 p.m. and Nov. 18 from 6-7 p.m. No phone call orders accepted. The Christmas sign-up and voucher distribution will take place at McAnthony Window and the pantry on Dec. 15 from 1-3 p.m. and Dec. 16 from 5-7 p.m.
Dinner and party
The Thanksgiving Day and Christmas buffet meals also are changing this year. “Last year we served a buffet inside,” on Thanksgiving Day, Cooper, noted. This year the McAnthony Window will serve meals in to-go containers. “We have plenty of volunteers.” This year’s meal will be served Nov. 26 from 9-11 a.m.
In the past, the parish served a Christmas buffet prior to Christmas day. Toys also were distributed. This year’s event will be held Dec. 18 from 9-11 a.m., Cooper said. Meals will be served from the McAnthony Window and toys will be distributed in the parish center.
How to help
Cooper said the vouchers for the turkeys and hams will cost the parish about $30,000. Donations from parishioners and the community support this effort. Donations can be made to the parish with the notation “holiday basket” in the memo line or donate through the parish website at www.stanthonysdavenportiowa.org
Donors may drop off toys for children ranging in age from newborn to 14 beginning Dec. 1. Donations of new, not used, toys should be unwrapped and dropped off during parish office hours. Donors may arrange to drop off toys at another time. For more information about how to donate, call the parish at (563) 322-3303 or send mail to 417 N. Main St., Davenport, Iowa 52801.
Cooper shared these comments from previous recipients of Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets:
“We love you for it all, all three of us. It made a wonderful time for us. Thanks from my daughter, son and myself,” said Curtis Titus. “I am very grateful to all of you at the church for providing these holiday meals to me and my family. God bless you all,” said Leonard Miles. “I am very thankful for your help. I wouldn’t have a Thanksgiving if it wasn’t for St. Anthony’s. You have been a huge help,” said Patty G. “They are wonderful. I actually got my family together for food and a great meal. What a blessing it was!
Thanks to you and all your parishioners,” said Shaun. “You guys are a true blessing. You have made many a holiday meal where there would have been none. God bless you all,” said Michelle Ulman.