Humble Hearts and Full Bellies- How to Pack a Thanksgiving Basket

When I was around 6 years old, my parents took me to the grocery store for what I assumed was a routine Holiday shopping trip. We filled up the buggy with the standard items- mac and cheese, a turkey, milk, bread, eggs, and tons of fresh produce- including oranges. 

Now while that may not be a big deal to you, as a child I couldn’t stand oranges. Picky eater to the max, I remember pitching a stink about my parents buying them. My Mom told me to relax, and that they were not for me.

All checked out and buckled in the car, I couldn’t help but notice we were not driving home. We actually pulled into a neighborhood in Jax Beach. Then my parents carried all of the groceries to the front door of a home I did not recognize, left the bags at the door, and we drove away.

Confused as all get out, I asked my parents why we didn’t take the food home? They responded that the family who lived there was having a really hard time. The parents weren’t able to feed their kids supper, so we brought them some.

That absolutely blew my little kid mind. The parents couldn’t feed their children supper? It broke my heart.

That instance became a core memory. As I’ve grown into adulthood and have the means to give back, I do so every chance I get.  I also make sure my children participate with me so that they understand the importance of serving others. A lot of folks are completely unaware that some people in our city cannot afford to eat. Especially now that everything is double what it cost a few years ago.

 In this season of giving, I encourage you to find ways to give where you can.

We give to our local food pantry at least 2x a month throughout the year. They are currently hosting a Thanksgiving dinner basket drive and we’ve put together some full dinner baskets. Knowing that we are providing the makings of a special day to a family that may not have been able to obtain it on their own is food for the soul.

Here is a video of everything I included in my baskets.

If you feel so moved, please use this as an idea as to what you can pack in yours. Or simply grab an extra couple of cans of something and drop them off at your local food pantry this holiday season.

Remember, even if you can only give a little, it means a lot to those you are helping.


I used extra large tote bags like these to fit everything inside. Regular ones from the grocery stores wouldn’t hold it all.

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I also added some special fun touches:

I couldn’t resist adding the Dolly biscuits and Lilgrim salt and pepper shakers. They brought a smile to my face and I hope they bring joy to their recipient’s as well.


Is there anything else you would add?

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