Providing 132 Thanksgiving meals wasn’t enough for a Tooele man that just finished putting together boxes of Christmas dinner for over 130 more families.
Jim Hunter provided Christmas dinners for families in need for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This wasn’t his first year. Hunter has been doing this for 10 years.
This year, before Thanksgiving, Hunter created a Facebook page to raise donations for the meals.
He has since changed the name of the Facebook page to “Community food drive with James Hunter.”
This year he had so many donations from members of the community leftover from Thanksgiving, he decided to provide families in need with Christmas dinner too.
“We had some leftover money from our Thanksgiving meals that we did, so we put out a post to everyone who donated to see what they wanted to do with the money,” said Hunter. “Since the Thanksgiving meals were a food drive, the majority of them thought we should do meals.”
With the leftover donations from Thanksgiving, Hunter and his volunteers, which consisted of family members and members of the community, had enough money to purchase 25 dinners for families in need, but more donations kept coming in.
“People just started donating again,” said Hunter.
After all of the money was collected, nominations for families in need came in on his Facebook page.
“This time, we focused on single families and the elderly. We wanted people to nominate a single mother, single father, or an elderly couple that needed help. None of the families knew they were getting meals,” said Hunter.
Hunter and his volunteers went to Lucky Grocery Store and Walmart in Tooele to buy the supplies for the meals.
Members of the community also dropped off bags of potatoes on Hunter’s porch for the meals, because the ones he planned to use had spoiled.
“It was funny, because I had all of these potatoes on my porch,” he said.
The Boys and Girls Club of Tooele allowed Hunter and his volunteers to pack up the meals for the families at their location.
“Because of unforeseen circumstances, the day before, we didn’t have a place to pack up our meals,” said Hunter. “So Darlene Dickson, with the Boys and Girls Club, here in Tooele let us use their building.”
Hunter and seven of his volunteers dropped off the meals to the families in need on Dec. 19.
“If the families were home, we knocked on their door and gave them the meals,” he said. “They didn’t even know it was coming. When we knocked on the door, we said, ‘Someone said you might need help with a Christmas meal,’ but we didn’t even tell them who we were. We put the meals in big Christmas bags and people posted on Facebook that they didn’t know who dropped them off but it was amazing.”
Included in the meals was a four-pound ham, two cans of beans and corn, two boxes of mac and cheese, brownie mix, potatoes, three packages of jello, whipped cream, a dozen eggs, two cans of biscuits, and chocolate cherries.
Hunter plans on doing this again next year.
“We want to do this next year, but it depends on donations,” he said.
Hunter wants to thank the volunteers who helped him and the people who donated.
“I want to thank all of my volunteers and the people who donated,” said Hunter. “I also want to thank Lucky and Walmart Tooele. I especially want to thank The Boys and Girls Club and Darlene Dixon for letting us use the space.”