EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. -- Children in Monroe County are making sure everyone has a Thanksgiving meal this holiday.
For the sixth year, Notre Dame Elementary students in East Stroudsburg collected nonperishable food items for families being helped by the county's Children and Youth program.
The boxes didn't just include dinner items, but breakfast supplies as well.
"This is very close to our hearts," said parent Anna Loncki. "We know there's a lot of needy families in our local community. Everyone struggles at different times in their lives, and you never know when you're going to be the one struggling. This is something that we like to just give back to our community and make sure we instill these values into our children."
The students also decorated every box before packing them and loading them up.
"I helped pack everything together in the Thanksgiving baskets, and I helped put all the baskets together," said sixth-grader Jacob Loncki.
Boxes adorned with construction paper and holiday wishes each contain a turkey donated by a grocery store. They also contain breakfast items and fixings for a holiday meal, all donated by students and their families. Students prepared the boxes for families in need
"Like all these kids, I pushed these boxes over here, I filled in the boxes, and like all these kids over here, I donated food and maybe some of my money to this," said sixth-grader Daniel Bordas.
In the six years, students at Notre Dame Elementary have made the turkey boxes for Children and Youth, their impact has nearly doubled. This year
"There's a lot of need out there, and there's more needy families than a lot of people realize, and we see it firsthand, and that's why we're so appreciative for the community to come together and make those donations," said Michele Auster, Monroe County Children and Youth.
The boxes were brought to Children and Youth Services in Stroudsburg. Caseworkers made sure each family's box met their specific needs for the holiday.