The Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington will host their annual Thanksgiving dinner Nov. 17 at the organization’s Ferguson Crestmont Club, located at 1111 W 12th St. Along with a catered meal, the event will include various games and activities for families to participate in.
Leslie Abshier, Resource Development Director for the Bloomington clubs, said the event is extremely impactful for the club’s members and their families.
“Every year, we hear that it’s families’ favorite thing to do,” Abshier said.
About 85% of families at the Ferguson Crestmont Club are classified as low-income, Abshier said. The 2020 U.S. Census report reveals 33.6% of Bloomington residents are living in poverty. Higher food prices have made it difficult for low-income families to participate in holiday celebrations.
The average price of a Thanksgiving dinner has been steadily climbing since 1990, according to an American Farm Bureau Survey. This year, a typical Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people costs $64.05‚ a 20% increase from the 2021 average of $53.31.
Rising inflation, supply chain disruptions due to the war in Ukraine and a smaller flock of turkeys due to avian influenza have all contributed to the $10 price increase from last year’s average Thanksgiving dinner, according to statements by the AFB’s chief economist Roger Cryan.
The meal provided by the Boys & Girls Clubs will be provided by Garnish, a local catering company, at no cost to the organization, Abshier said. Volunteers will set up and take down the event, serve the meal and host activities.
Prizes for activities, such as Bingo, have been donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs by the Bloomington community. Abshier said the Rotary Club of Bloomington has been especially helpful in providing volunteers for the event.
Mary Stafford, intern for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington, said the resources the club provides such as food, clothing and education would be unattainable otherwise for some low- income families.
“The Boys & Girls Club helps ensure that the financial situation of a family does not dictate the future of a child,” Stafford said.
Abshier said she hopes the event will benefit all families who attend through a catered meal and time for family bonding.
“The dinner is an opportunity families might not have otherwise,” Abshier said.
Though rising grocery prices have made it difficult for low-income families to enjoy Thanksgiving, Abshier and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington are hoping to change this through their dinner event.