Peabody family sees huge spike in requests for donated Thanksgiving meals

Peabody family sees huge spike in requests for donated Thanksgiving meals

PEABODY, Mass. — As Thanksgiving approaches, many organizations and restaurants that typically provide Thanksgiving meals to those in need aren’t able to this year.

But a Peabody family is stepping up in a big way. They’re donating meals so nobody has to go without one this Thanksgiving.

From the outside, Gina Goodwin’s home looks pretty ordinary. But inside, it looks more like a makeshift supermarket.

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“I literally have a thousand cans of cranberry sauce right now just hanging in my living room,” Goodwin said.

Goodwin and her family have been providing Thanksgiving meals to those in need on the North Shore for five years. But the need this Thanksgiving is off the charts.

Gina Goodwin's husband helps with the groceries. This year, they have 2,016 orders for Thanksgiving meals.
Gina Goodwin's husband helps with the groceries. This year, they have 2,016 orders for Thanksgiving meals.

“Last year there were 250 people, this year we just hit 2,016 orders,” she said.

Goodwin blames COVID-19 for the huge spike in requests. Those who can’t cook, for any reason, will be provided a fully-cooked meal with all the sides that can be reheated.

Goodwin says nobody gets turned away.

“We don’t ask why they need the meal. It’s not our business. It’s our business to provide them the meal not ask them why they need it,” Goodwin said.

Each meal costs roughly $10 and the Goodwin’s match every meal donated.

“Market Basket is probably just as overwhelmed as we are because my husband [has[ literally been going in placing like 1.500 pie orders at a time,” she said.

Typically, Goodwin, her husband and six children cook all on their own. But because they’ve had so many requests this year, they will have a small army of about 45 volunteers nicknamed 'Gina’s Thanks Givers" to help cook, box and deliver the meals contact-free.

Gina Goodwin and her family have been providing Thanksgiving meals to those in need on the North Shore for five years.
Gina Goodwin and her family have been providing Thanksgiving meals to those in need on the North Shore for five years.

Gina and her volunteers will start cooking the turkeys early next week.

They also provide gift cards for those who would rather buy their own turkey or ham and cook for themselves.

If you want to donate to Gina’s Thanks Givers or need a thanksgiving dinner, check out her Facebook page.