Members of the Sri Sathya Sai Centers of Greater Boston came together for a first-of-its-kind heartwarming distribution of bags of groceries and fresh produce for Thanksgiving to families in need on 19 Nov 2023. The town in Lowell, MA, has been identified as one of the communities facing severe food insecurity. Through this service, Sai volunteers were able to provide more than 300 people in the Lowell area with bags of groceries and fresh produce so they could enjoy a Thanksgiving meal filled with gratitude and wholesome nourishment.

Weeks of meticulous planning and organization paved the way for a seamless event. More than 75 Sai volunteers participated in this service initiative and took on various responsibilities for outreach, procurement of items, assembling and distribution of bags on the day of the service. 

Members of the Outreach Team reached out to the Lowell Community through various local food pantries, educational institutions, the town council and other influential nonprofit organizations to spread news of the event.

As the target number of bags was very large, a procurement team was formed to purchase groceries and fresh produce in bulk from various retail outlets. Some members visited multiple stores to secure high-quality items at the most affordable prices. Their effort also reflected a steadfast commitment to providing the full complement of food required to make the Thanksgiving celebration of the guests complete.

When multiple carloads arrived at the Sai Unity Center, volunteers, including Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) children, were present to unload, sort and assemble the bags within a short time frame. The SSE children, in particular, brought so much vigor and energy to the whole task of efficiently assembling the food bags. Each bag was a carefully curated blend of groceries or fresh produce, tailored to meet the unique dietary needs and requirements of the recipients.

The distribution day was a medley of colors as families lined up to receive their Thanksgiving food bags. As guests started arriving in the parking lot, the distribution team greeted them warmly and engaged them in friendly conversations. Recipients were filled with joy as they expressed their gratitude and happiness for the healthy nutritious groceries and fresh produce. Sai volunteers felt thankful when they saw the bright smiling faces of the guests. It was indeed a day of sharing love and joy that left an indelible mark on both volunteers and recipients.

Sai Center service coordinators have decided to continue this Thanksgiving food bags service every year. In addition, it has inspired them to carry out a monthly service to provide a few families in great need with groceries and fresh produce every month, starting January 2024.