A nourishing meal, shared with family and friends, is a holiday tradition that makes the season special. However, it can be one of the most challenging and stressful times of the year for many struggling families, unsure of how they will be able to afford all the fixings. Each year, to ensure that vulnerable families can participate in these special days of joy, The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation provides festive food baskets, filled with a turkey and all the nutritional staples and trimmings to prepare a holiday feast, for hundreds of families in need.
Striving to make a positive impact in each state in which Malcolm has resided, since 2011; The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation’s Holiday Dinner Basket Surprise program has served more than 1805 families. This year, with a financial grant from BNY Mellon and in-kind sponsorship from ShopRite Supermarkets operated by the Brown Family, the Foundation expanded its program to include 140 families residing in the City of Camden, NJ, a community in which 35% of households live below the poverty level. Through its expansion to three states, this year’s effort supported 420 families.
In keeping with the jersey number (27) that Malcolm wears on the field, The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation invited 27 organizations in each community to serve as partners in identifying families in need of a festive blessing.
On Saturday, December 15 and Monday, December 17, the Foundation and its team of volunteers gathered to assemble and distribute holiday meal baskets for 420 household across the three locations, all made possible though its partnerships with Philadelphia Police Department’s Police Athletic League (PA), Antioch Baptist Church (NJ), City of Camden (NJ), and College Track New Orleans (LA). Selected families received an in-person surprise delivery of food baskets and gifts from Malcolm Jenkins himself, Captain Jarreau Thomas and members of Philadelphia PAL, Mayor Frank Moran, City of Camden, and members of The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation and its volunteers. Since 2011, the Holiday Dinner Basket Surprise events and collaborations have underscored the spirit of giving during the holidays and the importance of community engagement and partnerships.
Each family received a 14 lb turkey, 1 box of Stuffing, 1 can of Cranberry Sauce, 2 large cans of Green Beans, 2 large cans of Collard Greens, 2 boxes of Macaroni and Cheese, 5lbs of Potatoes, a bag of Fresh Produce, 1 box of Spaghetti, 1 large jar of Spaghetti Sauce, Bread/Dinner Rolls, Cider/Punch, 1 box of Rice, a can of Milk, 1 pkg. Gravy, 1 Sweet Potato Pie, an Aluminum Pan, Paper Plates and Utensils, all festively wrapped in a reusable laundry basket.
In addition to the food baskets, families residing in Philadelphia and Camden with children 15 years and under, all received toys and gifts for the holiday, thanks to the collaboration and generous contributions from the City of Camden, Hersha Hotels and Resorts, Coral Homes, Dolly’s Boutique, Philadelphia PAL, The Harrison College House at UPENN, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. Chi Upsilon, and Damari Savile who each conducted toy drives in support of The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation’s program.