Dozens of families receive turkeys and Thanksgiving fixings from Family in Need effort

This morning, dozens of Boston-area families and seniors were given Thanksgiving groceries from the Family in Need effort, organized by three West Roxbury organizations and the Boston police department.

For each of the last 15 years, a list of families is compiled by the police, West Roxbury Business and Professional Association, West Roxbury YMCA and Ethos/AgeWell West Roxbury. They work with grocery store Roche Bros., which provides discounted groceries to be distributed to the families, said Mary Mulvey Jacobson, president of the West Roxbury Business and Professional Association.

The groups ensure that each family gets not just a turkey, but also the makings for a holiday feast.

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“There’s an apple pie, gravy, a bag of onions, potatoes, everything you would need for a Thanksgiving dinner,” Mulvey Jacobson said. “We all meet at Roche Bros. at 9:30 a.m. and then start doling out the deliveries.”

However, just delivering the turkeys to families isn’t always enough. The group has even arranged special accommodations to those in their community with unique needs.

“An elderly woman just came home having colon cancer surgery and said she couldn’t prepare or lift a turkey,” Mulvey Jacobson said. “So I talked to the manager [of Roche Bros.] and explained the situation, and they cooked a turkey for her. She was so delighted that someone would take the time to care. ”

Now that that the Thanksgiving groceries have been distributed, the volunteers will start collecting donations for their Christmas efforts and will “adopt” a few families who may need a little extra help around the holidays.

“One year, somebody made a very generous donation of $500 for families with children,” Mulvey Jacobson said that the money went toward new clothes for the children. Another year, the YMCA cleared the daycare debts of a mother of three who was in a financial bind.

“We definitely depend on the community to help pay for the groceries,” she said, but added that, “It always seems to come together.”

Donations for Christmas groceries can be made to “Family in Need” and mailed to the West Roxbury Business and Professional Association, P.O. Box 320113, West Roxbury, MA 02132.

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