Holiday MealThere are many families in your area that cannot afford to put a nice meal on the table this holiday season. In the spirit of giving, you can easily organize a basket filled with all of the ingredients for a traditional holiday meal for one family in need. You can do this with your family, friends, or co-workers and you can all split it up to fill the basket.

What you will need:

* A large basket or plastic tote to gather all of the food in.

* A list of what you will need to fill the basket

* A plan including who will bring what items and when you need to have it filled

* Contact your local food bank

* A big heart

What to do:

*Contact your local food bank to let them know that you would like to donate an entire holday meal for Thanksgiving or Christmas to one needy family. They will be more than happy to help you out with the specifics. Many food banks already do this during the holidays and will be delighted to have another meal donated.

*Talk to your friends, family, and co-workers to see if they would be interested in donating a few items to fill the basket.

*Make a list of all of the items you will need to fill the holiday meal basket. Most of the items should be boxed, canned, or non-perishable foods because they may be sitting for a period of time while you are filling the basket. You can get canned vegetables, boxed mashed potatoes, gravy in a jar, canned cranberries, etc. For the turkey, you may want to just purchase a gift certificate from a local supermarket that is designated for a turkey. Check with your local food bank to see what the best option would be.

*Now, plan out what each person donating to the basket will bring. Mark items off on the list as they are put into the basket, and regularly check to make sure you are getting what you need.

*When your holiday meal basket is all filled up, take it to the food bank or food pantry and they will distribute it to a needy family. Now, you can feel good about helping someone else out during this holiday season.