Rotary donates Thanksgiving meals to families

The Rotary Club of San Benito gave Thanksgiving meals to 21 San Benito CISD families on Friday as part of its first Turkey Meal Distribution Project. Courtesy photos

SAN BENITO — In a team effort made by Rotarians and the community, some families received something a little extra special for Thanksgiving this season.

On Friday, the Rotary Club of San Benito provided 21 San Benito CISD families with meals as part of the organization’s first Turkey Meal Distribution Project.

Along with a turkey, every meal came with several side dishes, such as cans of corn and cranberries, potatoes, stuffing, yams, bread and pie.

“It just felt so good to do something like that,” Rotary Club President Dr. Olivia Rivas said. “It was the whole community that came together with it.”

Rotarians partnered with 10 elementary schools who identified families that would receive the meals.

Rivas said Rotarians wrote a “Happy Thanksgiving” note on the box of each meal that let the families know that the Rotary Club is grateful to have families like them in the community and to have wonderful children like theirs in the school district.

“This is the first turkey giveaway that we’ve had and it’s so successful,” Rivas said. “All of our members that went out to distribute came back saying it felt so good to do this for the parents, and some of the elementary schools had the parents there waiting to receive the meals.”

Rivas said a member of the Rotary Club from Houston came up with the idea of having the Turkey Meal Distribution Project.

“Giving away turkeys was something that he had done while he was in law enforcement in Harris County,” she said. “He suggested to our club that we get involved in a turkey project because he had been so successful with it in Houston.”

Rivas said he and Rotarian Celeste Sanchez headed the turkey giveaway.

“Many of the cans of food were donated by some of his former co-workers involved with law enforcement in the Houston area and many others were donated by local residents,” Rivas said. “When we contacted the school district, they were very happy that we were going to do this.”

According to Rivas, the Rotary Club has close to 71 turkey donations promised for next year by local community members wanting to make a contribution to the project.

“San Benito is not a large community, but it’s not too small,” Rivas said. “It’s just right and everybody pitches in.”