Madison, WI Oct. 11, 2022 – The Goodman Community Center has announced the registration period for their annual Thanksgiving Basket Drive: Oct. 17-28. This will be the 34th year that the center has provided the fixings for families to make full Thanksgiving meals at home, and once again they’ve set their goal at 4,000 baskets distributed this year.
“The cost of everything is up this year,” said GCC Food Pantry Manager Francesca Frisque. “We’re feeling it in our food pantry when we place orders, and we know our families are struggling as well. Our Thanksgiving Basket Drive helps ease the burden on families and helps them prepare a holiday meal that might have otherwise been outside their budget.”
Data provided by the Goodman Center’s Fritz Food Pantry show a steady upward trend in pantry usage and people served during the last 12 months. As an example, in the last quarter of 2021, the pantry averaged 1,455 people served per month. In August of this year, they nearly doubled that number, serving 2,875. The center reports that the only other time the pantry saw this level of need was during the height of the COVID pandemic, and it is posed to surpass those numbers if current trends continue.
“The need is great right here in our own community,” Frisque said. “We’re seeing people of all walks who need a little extra help right now, including families who are working full-time jobs. They’re having a hard time making ends meet.”
For the first time in a long time, the Goodman Center is expecting the cost of each basket to increase this year, from $70 in previous years to $80. It will take more money and more help from the whole community to achieve the center’s goal of serving 4,000 families.
“It’s going to take as many people as possible doing as much as they can to bring comfort to thousands of local families,” said Goodman Center CEO Letesha Nelson. “Last year was my first time experiencing our Thanksgiving Basket Drive, and based on what I witnessed, I have no doubt our community will turn up for our neighbors once again this year.”
Community members who would like to help can make financial donations online at goodmancenter.org, host a food drive, or volunteer to help with food sorting and distribution. Find more information 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 (in person or virtual): 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.
For more information about the Thanksgiving Basket Drive contact:
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