Annual North Turkey Drive Provides Thanksgiving Meals to D303 Families


Laure Schulders

The donation box, where students can deliver food items for the Turkey Drive, is located in the main foyer.

Addie Grimm, News Editor

The annual D303 Turkey Drive has started this year’s collection of goods for the creation of Thanksgiving meals to be donated to families in need in the St. Charles community. Donations are due by Nov. 15 and 16. Meals are packaged on Nov. 18 and delivered on Nov. 19. 

The Turkey Drive has been taking place at North for over 15 years, and a very similar drive is held at East at the same time. North provides meals for families within the D303 community that are in need that choose to get the meal.   

“We partner with elementary schools that have students that feed into St. Charles North, partner with social workers at their schools, and they generate a list of families in need that choose to participate,” said Libby Sutherland, administrative assistant and organizer of the Turkey Drive at North. 

The meal packages delivered to D303 families consist of a frozen turkey, an aluminum roasting pan, a frozen dessert, canned green beans, canned corn, instant mashed potatoes, stuffing, canned gravy, canned fruit cocktail and canned cranberries. Typically, North puts together around 100 meals to be delivered in the area.  

A majority of the food and money collected comes from North clubs and organizations. North organizations often sign up to donate a certain amount of any particular item on the list for the turkey drive or to donate money to purchase the turkeys. However, donations are in no way limited to students in activities. 

“Any student can absolutely donate and we have community members donate as well,” said Sutherland. “We put up a bin (typically in the lobby area) for people who bring in food and drop it off in the bin and the main foyer area. But absolutely anyone is welcome to participate.”

Anyone who wants to donate money can bring it to Sutherland or Tiffany Kufer in the Student Life Office. 

Students from honor societies volunteer to help package the meals, which are made up of all of the food items, with the frozen foods on top. The frozen items are purchased and brought to North separately. 

“We purchase frozen turkeys- our Student Council actually searches out the best price, the best value for what you’re getting. And they have the turkeys delivered. Either they pick them up and deliver them to school, or they have them delivered to chill,” said Sutherland. 

After the meals are packaged, they are delivered either directly to the homes of the D303 families or to elementary schools to be picked up by the family, if that is what they prefer. The meals are driven by pairs of volunteer high school students. 

The Turkey Drive offers many opportunities for students to get involved with helping local families. From donating food items or money, to helping package and deliver the meals, there are many ways to help out. Because the meals stay within the D303 community, and specifically the North families, it is a charity event that stays very close to home. 

“It helps locally, like people that we might pass at the grocery store or people that go to school with us and their families. I like that we are helping people that are a part of our North family. I think that’s a beautiful thing,” said Sutherland.