Each year, the Notus FFA serves their local community through their annual Thanksgiving Dinner Basket Food Drive, which provides Thanksgiving dinner boxes to those in need over the holiday season and this year was no different. With a need greater than before, they gathered supplies and packed items into 35 boxes, up from their typical 25. Each box is packed to the brim with items to make a Thanksgiving dinner, as well as pantry essentials to help their households after the holidays.

“This program is important because it is helping families and those who need food, and giving them a Thanksgiving,” said Kenzi Clemens, Notus FFA President, “I didn’t realize how much of a need there was in our community.”


All items in the boxes are donated through a school-wide food drive hosted by the student council, donated to the local food pantry, or are purchased with funds donated for the program. Items are donated and collected prior to the week of Thanksgiving. Then, a Notus FFA advisor and chapter members go to the grocery store to pick up the rest of the needed items using the funds from various donors, including a sponsorship from Beniton Construction to purchase all the turkeys and a National FFA Day of Service Grant.

This year’s boxes included: a frozen turkey, a tin roaster pan, fried onions, green beans, cream of mushroom soup, yams, cranberry sauce, marshmallows, stuffing, evaporated milk, instant potatoes, pumpkin pie filling, pie crusts, turkey gravy packets, oil, canned fruit, oatmeal, canned corn, sugar, flour, pickles, olives, turkey bags, butter, dry beans, peanut butter, dried cherries, potato flakes, canned pinto beans, canned peaches, canned carrots, canned corn, bread, and onions.

After the items are gathered, FFA members pack each box and hand them out to each family.


​“My favorite part of this program is putting the boxes together then handing them out to the families,” said Emma Sanford, Notus FFA Vice President, “We have a chance to give back to our community and give those members the opportunity to have a good dinner and a good Thanksgiving.”


In addition to serving their community, Notus FFA members are learning valuable skills by planning and executing this community service event.

“I didn’t know how to put a program like this on before,”​said Kenzi, “By participating, I have gained time management, scheduling and organization skills.”