Madison, WI Oct. 18, 2022 – On Monday, Oct. 17, the Goodman Community Center opened registration for its annual Thanksgiving Basket Drive, and 2,911 families and individuals have signed up to receive a basket. That is nearly three-quarters of the center’s total goal of providing 4,000 Dane County families with Thanksgiving groceries, and more registrations in the first day than any other year.
“With the increasing cost of food, we’ve seen early pandemic-level demand on our food pantry in recent months, so unfortunately, I’m not surprised that so many people have already registered for a basket this year,” said Goodman Center Food Pantry Manager Francesca Frisque. “Families’ income just doesn’t stretch as far as it used to, and for many, a holiday meal isn’t in the budget this year. I’m glad we’re going to be able to provide a little comfort to some of those families.”
For the last 34 years, the Goodman Center has provided Dane County families with everything they need to prepare a Thanksgiving meal at home, and this year, the center has set a goal of serving 4,000 families.
The registration period is scheduled to run through Oct. 28, but if the center reaches capacity, they may be forced to close early.
As in previous years, the Goodman Center has partnered with Madison Metropolitan School District social workers to identify families in highest need and ensure they get registered for a basket. The center has also made the registration process easy, creating a simple online form that is available in English, Spanish and Hmong.
Many people still call in to register by phone. “Our registration line was ringing off the hook yesterday, and we expect that to continue,” said Goodman Center CEO Letesha Nelson. “We’re so thankful for the volunteers who are willing to help field the calls and answer questions. We’re lucky to have the most supportive community around.”
The Goodman Community Center is seeking community support by way of food donations and financial contributions. It will take a village to provide 4,000 Dane County families with a Thanksgiving feast. People who are interested in helping can learn more at goodmancenter.org/thanksgiving.
How to register for a basket:
Registration is open to Dane County residents from Monday, Oct. 17, through Friday, Oct. 28.
- Register online: goodmancenter.org/thanksgiving
- Register by phone: 608-204-8018, Mon. – Fri., 12:30 – 6pm (during registration dates).
- A Spanish speaker will be answering the phone on Wednesdays, 3 – 6pm.
How to help:
- Host a food drive or fundraiser: GCC has provided photos, posters, grocery lists and helpful tips to make your drive successful. Downloadable files are available on their website: goodmancenter.org/thanksgiving.
- Make a financial gift: Funds raised are used to purchase turkeys, perishable items and items needed to completely fill baskets. Donate online at goodmancenter.org/donate
- Volunteer your time: Though most of the volunteers spots are already filled, you can register to be added to the waiting list at volunteers.goodmancenter.org/thanksgiving-basket-volunteering
About the Goodman Community Center
The Goodman Community Center strengthens lives and secures futures throughout the greater Madison area. Located in the heart of Madison’s Atwood neighborhood, GCC offers programs for preschoolers through teens, families, individuals and older adults. The Goodman Center has on-site childcare services, including fully licensed and accredited preschool, 4K and elementary after-school programs, as well as a teen center that offers after-school activities and employment opportunities for teens. The center’s food pantry serves more than 200 households a week and is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and they also offer meals, social activities and health and wellness opportunities for seniors. Accessibility is a top priority of the Goodman Center, and as such most of the center’s programs are free or priced to be very affordable, including access to its fitness center, catering services and community spaces.
Every year in November, the Goodman Center hosts its Thanksgiving Basket Drive, when they collect donations to provide thousands of Dane County families with everything they need to make a Thanksgiving meal at home.
July 18, 2023
CEO Letesha Nelson announced an internal minimum wage of $20/hour at a press conference on July 18.
July 18, 2023
The center has adjusted the wages of all employees below director level in an effort to better support the people who support our community
March 20, 2023
The match is part of the center’s Love & Legacy campaign, which is funded by a grant from the Madison Community Foundation