Albertsons and BYU-Idaho students gathered money, food, hygiene products and other necessities to help the Family Crisis Center give Thanksgiving dinners to families in need on Nov. 19.
In the United States, 1 in 8 people struggle with hunger. In order to help local families during the Thanksgiving season, Albertsons is collecting donations for its annual Turkey Bucks charity campaign, according to albertsons.com.
Kevin Stevens, a store director at Albertsons, said cashiers at Albertsons ask customers if they are willing to donate money. Customers may then make a $1, $5 or $10 donation, or they can make custom donation amounts, if they want.
“The community has been a big help with this,” Stevens said. “So far, we have raised over $6,000, all of which will go to help local families in need.”
Stevens said Albertsons has been doing the Turkey Bucks program for around 10 years.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to help the community,” Stevens said.
Last year, Albertsons stores were able to donate 17,124 meals to local families. This year, they hopes to have enough to donate 20,000 meals. They will continue to accept donations until Nov. 23.
More information about Albertsons’ Turkey Bucks donations can be found on their website at albertsons.com.
“We give people a list of things the Family Crisis Center needs as they walk into the store,” said Mindi Olson, a senior studying social work. “As they are shopping, they can pick up an item that is on the list and then give it to us. Then, we drop it off at the crisis center — anything helps.”
Olson said the Thanksgiving food drive was organized by the Rexburg 76th Ward. Volunteers from the ward were posted at both entrances to Albertsons from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. They would rotate out at intervals so no one would stay in the cold for too long.
“It was a good experience,” Olson said. “Lots of people have absolutely loved it, and there were even a couple of people who offered to get things from home they wanted to donate.”
The lists the students handed out asked for canned goods, diapers, baby wipes, hygiene products, paper towels and craft supplies. Other donations were encouraged.
Olson said the drive organized by the college students was independent from Albertsons’ Turkey Bucks campaign, though both will be donating to the Family Crisis Center in Rexburg.
The Family Crisis Center is a public, non-profit agency. The center serves 60,000 people in Madison, Fremont, Jefferson and Clark county areas. Thirteen percent of the population is underneath the poverty level, according to the Family Crisis Center website.