Melaleuca Foundation Pays for Thanksgiving Community Dinner for Hundreds of Families in Need

More than 800 people in need were treated to a delicious Thanksgiving meal thanks to a significant donation made by the Melaleuca Foundation. 

Working with the Salvation Army, the Melaleuca Foundation paid for a holiday dinner that fed the elderly, homeless, and less-fortunate families in the community where Melaleuca is headquartered. This “all-are-welcome” feast was not only an opportunity to enjoy turkey, mashed potatoes and other traditional trimmings, but to also enjoy the company of friends, neighbors and family. 

In addition to the large banquet, the Foundation’s gift paid for meals to be delivered to homebound individuals by volunteers. It also covered the cost of Thanksgiving meals that were distributed at a drive-through option at the Salvation Army. 

“We are so thankful for the Melaleuca Foundation’s contribution to the community and specifically to the Salvation Army,” said Captain John Birks, administrator of the Idaho Falls Salvation Army. “I can’t emphasize how grateful I am to have a charitable partner in Melaleuca that provides help when there is great need. Melaleuca is a complete blessing, not only to the Salvation Army but to the greater community.”

Community Thanksgiving Dinner. | Courtesy Idaho Falls Salvation Army

Captain Birks said the area’s need has never been greater, pointing out that a traditional Thanksgiving meal costs about 14% more this year than in 2020, and rising prices have created a spike in the need for food assistance with so many families.

The Thanksgiving Community Dinner had approximately 80 volunteers on hand to serve the food. Volunteers worked in shifts, doing everything from prepping, serving, delivery driving and cleaning up afterward.

He appreciates Melaleuca’s generosity as well as the interfaith partnership with the First Presbyterian Church, the Methodist Church, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to pull off this longstanding Thanksgiving tradition in Idaho.

While several community organizations made contributions to the festivity, the Melaleuca Foundation covered the hard costs of everything else that the Salvation Army needed to serve the meal.

Filling up the Food Banks

One of the pillars of the Melaleuca Foundation is to feed the hungry, and it does so in a variety of ways each year. 

The Melaleuca Foundation has been busy throughout the month of November in filling up the shelves of several food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens and food warehouses.

The Foundation was the primary financial sponsor for two successful community food drives that generated hundreds of tons of food, filling up a large warehouse that distributes to 22 food pantries across the Rocky Mountain region.