The Fredericksburg Thanksgiving Initiative

by | Dec 10, 2015 | News

By Susan Larson. Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office deputies helped The Fredericksburg Thanksgiving Initiative deliver meals on Thanksgiving Day. Photo provided by Jericho Matthews.

William Negron, owner of Will’s Place Va, and local Chiropractor Jericho Matthews of Alive By Design Chiropractic Center met over coffee earlier this fall to discuss what they could do to serve the community during the holidays.

“We discussed how many churches and organizations tend to focus on the homeless, which is great and amazing, but we wanted to focus on those individuals who may have homes and jobs but can’t afford a Thanksgiving meal,” Matthews said. “We know many people are living pay check to pay check. They’re trying to make ends meet, and they sometimes can’t even afford to eat.”

The most recent study by Feeding America — “Hunger in America 2010” — found that more than 900,000 people in the Commonwealth don’t know where their next meal will come from, Matthews said. In addition, 45 percent of households served by Virginia food banks had at least one employed adult.

“These statistics motivated us to determine how can we could come together as a community to help as many people as possible,” Matthews said. “Out of that The Fredericksburg Thanksgiving Initiative was born.”

Negron and Matthews talked with many local businesses to see if they wanted to help in any way. Some 14 businesses came forward to help. “Some gave donations, some gave us leads to families we could deliver meal boxes to, some helped cook, some packaged meal boxes, and others delivered the meal boxes,” Matthews said. “The most important thing was coming together as a community to do exceedingly more than any of us could do on our own.”

The inaugural Fredericksburg Thanksgiving Initiative fed more than 120 people. “We can’t wait to have more businesses involved and more people fed next year,” Matthews said.

Negron and Matthews are now working with James Roberson of Roberson’s Music on a Christmas meal. Contact Roberson at 540-373-3775 or [email protected] if you’d like to help.

Those who volunteered for the Fredericksburg Thanksgiving Initiative included:
Will’s Place VA
Not a Problem Home and Lawn LLC
Alive By Design Chiropractic Center
M.C. Vintage
Agora Downtown Coffee Shop
A Modern Chair
The Center for Faith and Leadership
The Foundry
River Rock Outfitters
Roberson’s Music
Crumb and Get It
Walmart of Central Park
Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office

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