For the twenty-first year, the Marco Island Area Association of Realtors (MIAAOR) will be collecting food for the St. Matthew’s House Thanksgiving Dinner. This food drive is open to generous donors willing to provide homemade side dishes ready-made for delivery. Last year the association collected over 70 large food trays from locals, visitors, and realtors.
Long time Marco Island Realtor Bill Filbin started this tradition over two decades ago. As the leader of the kitchen for the Special Olympics Collier County Area Games, he noticed extra food after the events that could be donated. He was referred to St. Matthew’s House, a 100 percent donation nonprofit that provides housing for the homeless, food for the needy, and comfort for addicted and suffering. What started with a dozen trays has grown into the large food drive it is today.
While the Thanksgiving main course is prepared at St. Matthew’s House, there is only so much space in the facility’s kitchen for preparing side dishes. Donations that are needed for Thanksgiving Day include mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, baked yams, vegetables, sweet potatoes (mashed or baked), and pies.
Pans will be stacked for travel, so donors are instructed to eliminate any excess liquid. Aluminum disposable trays with covers will be provided by the MIAAOR if needed.
You may drop off side dishes in disposable trays at the MIAAOR office from 8 to 10:30 AM on November 22. All food will be delivered in one trip to ensure freshness. Monetary donations on the day of will not be accepted, as there will not be time to buy and prepare dishes.
“Thanksgiving is just one day of the year,” commented Filbin. “But there is a need 365 days a year, people go to bed hungry all the time in the world, and if we can help a small amount of them, it’s worthwhile.”
The Marco Island Area Association of Realtors is located 140 Waterway Drive. For more information contact 239-394-5616.