Tag Archives: Thanksgiving Day

WPI fraternity’s Thanksgiving Food Drive for the Friendly House! Go, WPI, go!!!

Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity brothers

Each year, Worcester’s Friendly House, along with the Worcester Sheriff’s
Department, Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity and other local sponsors, work together to collect food for a Thanksgiving meal program.

Our mission is to give local families a chance to spend their Thanksgiving holiday not worrying about putting food on the table.

Last year, our food drive was able to collect about 183,000 pounds of food!

This year the group is looking to raise the bar to 300,000 pounds. All of the donations will be distributed by
Friendly House to local families
in time for the holiday season.

In addition to serving food to families in need, Worcester’s Friendly House also
hosts a variety of after school programs for local youth at their facility and continues their work year round to support our Worcester community.

This is everyone’s chance to pitch in on the effort. Collection bags will be distributed to homes through most Worcester neighborhoods on Sunday, November 6, with a collection returning on Sunday the 13th.


This is an opportunity to
make monetary or non-perishable food donations.

In addition, donations can be
made from November 16 to Nov. 18 at the Price Chopper at 564 Southwest Cutoff.


Please take full opportunity to help us work to fight hunger in our Worcester community this holiday season!

Thank you!

Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity


And …


And …


Thanksgiving Day …

ICT_Yum Yums-edited
Chef Joey knows Native Americans respected our forests and killed game only when necessary.

By Chef Joey

Well, it’s that time of year again – Thanksgiving Day – when we celebrate a lovely fall holiday that begins the three-week deadline for your final Holiday shopping. For me, it’s like the last 10 minutes on “Chopped.” The price of turkey alone makes me love this holiday, but it got me thinking about the 1600’s and what they really ate. Thanks to Google, I came up with some interesting tidbits and where many of our road names came from:

So the Original “Squanto” was from Patuxet like the Paw-sox, he was a Native American that with the Wampanoags taught the pilgrims how to catch eels and grow corn.  Squanto was the interpreter for them as he had learned the language when he was imprisoned in England.  The Wampanoag leader Massasoit (great name for a street!) gave food to the colonists during the first winter to help them out, as the supplies they brought were not sufficient for the New England winter. 

So the following year of 1621, the planting, growing and cultivation was all supervised by the Indians and for three days after the harvest they celebrated.  The date is not known exactly but it was sometime between mid-September and mid-November. 

It was not so much a “Thanksgiving” celebration but more if a harvest celebration with 50 pilgrims (out of 100 that landed!) and about 90 Native Americans guests. The food was prepared by four women who survived the first winter and their daughters, and had young boys and girls do the serving.

There are two personal written accounts about that day. William Bradford wrote that “Everyone had their houses and dwellings fit for winter now that they were well recovered in health and strength, and all had things in good plenty.” 

He went on about the storage of dried fishes (cod, bass and other fish) that every house had equal portions for the winter as the summer as “there was no want”.  It was on to the fall to “store the foul,” as winter was approaching, and wild turkey was quite abundant at that time, and venison, with Indian corn as a backup. 

This first harvest prompted many letters back to friends in England with these comforting reports.

The other was Edward Winslow who wrote “Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor.”. He went on to say “The greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, for whom three days we entertained and feasted, and they went our and killed five deer, shich brought back to the (plimouth) plantation and we bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others.”

So what did they eat?

Today’s menu is definitely different that of our forefathers and mothers! Green bean linda was not an option and onion strings were not invented.  According to the Plimouth Plantation historian Kathleen Shaw, I read in an article that “the first Thanksgiving,” there would be slimmer pickings. “Wildfowl was there. Corn, in grain form for bread or for porridge, was there. Venison was there these are absolutes.” She goes on to mention that turkey was not the centerpiece as it is today. Goose and duck were most likely on the menu in addition to the now extinct passenger pigeons that were once so thick, you could hear them for 15 minutes before you saw them. 

It was said that a man could shoot the birds in flight and bring down 200. Swan was also on the menu and being New England clams, mussels and lobster were also consumed.  Stuffing was not quite the same sorry to say, but more of a fruit, nuts and maize (corn) stuffing used.  Onions and herbs, and perhaps an all chestnut stuffing.  Smaller birds were most likely roasted, and the bigger ones boiled, then roasted to finish them off. 

The veggies were not used as they were a staple for the winter so the last of the fresh was finished off and root vegetables were kept for the winter.

Historians say that most likely all the birds were roasted on the first day and boiled for broth the next day, with grain added to make it thicker.

So not so sure that seafood would make a great change, but the Indians did have a few good meals they ate that were not necessarily animal protein. They respected the forests and killed game as needed.  They are Maize for sure but also “Succotash” – which is from the Narragansett sohquattahhash; meaning broken corn kernels.  Basically corn and shell beans – like lima or navy and whatever was available like green or red peppers, tomato was often added.  The combination of grains and legumes creates dishes in high in amino acids. Ironically, this had a resurgence during the Great Depression, as it is inexpensive and quite nutritious.  Often made as a casserole, and sometimes with a crust.

Here is my favorite “modern” Succotash recipe. 

What you will need:

Olive oil

2 onions chopped

kosher salt

1 large clove garlic, minced

3 cups chopped tomatos (diced canned works too)

4 ears of corn steamed and cleaned (frozen thawed works – mix white and yellow corn)

1 cup lima beans (frozen of fresh then cooked)

1 cup butter beans (frozen or fresh then cooked)

1 handful of fresh basil

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat, add onion and salt. 

Sauté until soft and translucent (about 5 mins)

Add garlic until you can smell it. 

Add tomatoes, corn and lima beans. 

Cover until everything is soft – about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Just before serving mix in the basil. 

This can be made ahead of time. Just reheat and add the basil before serving!

Happy Thanksgiving Day!


Thanksgiving: a time of bounty for some, scarcity for others

By John Monfredo, Worcester School Committee

As the nation looks forward to the celebration of Thanksgiving, for many families it’s another day with very little food in their kitchens. Three years after the onset of the financial and economic crisis, hunger remains high in the United States. This crisis that erupted in 2008 caused a dramatic increase in hunger in this country. This high level of hunger continued in 2010, according to the latest government report (with the most recent statistics) released in September 2011 by a study done by Coleman-Jensen.

As an educator all my adult life, I have witnessed families in need of food and remember visiting a family before Thanksgiving with our guidance councilor. We brought the family bags of food and when I asked the mother where I could place the food she told me to just leave it in the kitchen for they didn’t have a refrigerator and shared one with the person on the second floor. We need to remember that all students do not step off the bus in the morning with the same advantages. The truth is that many of our students are faced with hardships and hunger.

Another family that I visited I brought a gallon of milk as part of the food basket. The child turned to her mother and said wow now we can have milk for the weekend! Poverty is real in this community but so many community members have no idea that it exists. Schools and community agents continue to reach out and assist the many families that they know about. For example, students at South High Community School have over 177 known homeless teens. South High’s Principal Maureen Binienda, not only addresses the academic needs of her students, but their physical and emotional needs. She has established a food pantry for needy students at the school. Students in need stop by the Health Center after school and pick up an ordinary school backpack and fill it with food.

Thanks to the Federal Government, students who qualify for free and reduced lunch are fed a breakfast and lunch in the schools. The National School Lunch Program is a federally assisted meal program that provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children from low income families. In 2008 the program reached 30.5 million children. Children are from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the poverty level. (For the period July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2010, 130 percent of the poverty level is $28,665 for a family of four; 185 percent is $40,793.) Children from families with incomes over 185 percent of poverty pay a full price, though their meals are still subsidized to some extent by the program. Program cost was $9.3 billion in 2008. In Worcester seventy percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Another program that has assisted families in need is the Food Stamp Program, the nation’s most important anti-hunger program, helps roughly 40 million low-income Americans to afford a nutritionally adequate diet. More than 75 percent of all food stamp participants are in families with children; nearly one-third of participants are elderly people or people with disabilities. Unlike most means-tested benefit programs, which are restricted to particular categories of low-income individuals, the Food Stamp Program is broadly available to almost all households with low incomes. These programs are fundamental to nourish children and to aid in their success in school by meeting their most basic needs.

Important research began back in 1943 a psychologist named Abraham Maslow who first introduced his concept of a hierarchy of needs in his paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” and his subsequent book, Motivation and Personality. This hierarchy suggests that people are motivated to fulfill basic needs before moving on to other needs.

The very first need was the physiological needs of individuals. These include the most basic needs that are vital to survival, such as the need for water, air, food and sleep. Maslow believed that these needs are the most basic and instinctive needs in the hierarchy because all needs become secondary until these physiological needs are met. Yet we have individuals in this community who don’t believe that poverty has an impact on learning. However, what we do know is that the way out of poverty is through education but we still need to meet the physiological needs of the student. This can only happen if communities partner with schools to better the lives of the nation’s most precious resource, our children.

So as the Thanksgiving holiday rolls in think about what you can do the assist families in need …

Mendon bird is runner-up in Turkey of the Year contest!

Dale the Turkey Is Among Top Rescued Fowl in Thanksgiving Competition

Mendon— Dale would have joined the millions of turkeys who become Thanksgiving dinner every year if Maple Farm Sanctuary hadn’t rescued him from a local turkey farm and given him a lifelong home. Now, the handsome, white-feathered Dale spends his time with his mate, Daphne, of whom he is very protective. Dale is vocal and friendly and loves to show off—so he’ll relish the attention that comes with being named the second runner-up in PETA’s first-ever Turkey of the Year contest for rescued birds. Starting this week, Dale will be among the rescued turkeys featured on PETA.org.

“Thanksgiving is murder on turkeys, but compassionate rescuers like Maple Farm Sanctuary give lucky birds like Dale something to be thankful for,” says PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “Rescued turkeys have been given a second chance at a life free from suffering on crowded factory farms—and that’s the real prize.”

More than 250 million turkeys are killed in the U.S. every year—including more than 40 million for Thanksgiving dinners alone. In nature, turkeys are protective and loving parents as well as spirited explorers who can climb trees and run as fast as 25 miles per hour. But most turkeys slated to be killed for food are crammed into filthy warehouses, where disease, smothering, and heart attacks are common. Turkeys are drugged and bred to grow such unnaturally large upper bodies that their legs often become crippled under the weight.

The winner of PETA’s contest, Jake, lives in North Carolina. Dale’s fellow runner-up, Tomas, lives in Rhode Island.