Helena Food Share distributes 1,250 turkeys for Thanksgiving meals

Posted at 6:34 PM, Nov 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 20:38:33-05

(HELENA) Families across the Helena Valley are now ready for their Thanksgiving meal, thanks to help from Helena Food Share.

Development director Daneal Lightner said Wednesday that Food Share had distributed more than 1,250 turkeys, plus other traditional holiday dishes. Most were given out on Monday, but some customers were still picking them up through Wednesday.

Lightner said they’re grateful for the public support that makes this holiday meal distribution possible.

“This is my favorite time of year,” she said. “People are extremely generous with their time, with their funds. People in this community give and give and give. Helena takes care of its own, and thanks to that, nobody’s going hungry this Thanksgiving.”

Last week, Food Share collected a record 2,883 turkeys through the annual Turkey Challenge donation drive. Even more donated turkeys were dropped off on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Our goal was 2,500 turkeys, so the community really helped us blow that out of the water,” Lightner said.

Helena College lent Food Share a refrigerated trailer to hold the extra turkeys.

Lightner said their holiday meal programs have been growing each year. The turkeys collected through the Turkey Challenge are distributed at Thanksgiving and Christmas. In 2016, Food Share gave out just over 2,000, while in 2017, they handed out 2,200.

Because of the success of the Turkey Challenge, Lightner said Food Share is in good shape for Christmas as well. She said this time of year is also especially important for their fundraising efforts.

“People aren’t just hungry during the holidays; they’re hungry all year long,” she said. “The support we get now in these next few weeks and leading into the new year will keep families fed for the whole next year.”

You can find more information about Helena Food Share and their ongoing programs at