Thanksgiving food boxes all ready for people to come and fill them on Thursday November 17th, 2022.
PRESTON — Thanksgiving is a great time of year for most people. Families gather and enjoy good food, friends and family. For Todd Lundahl and his family, this time of year they spend time giving to families who might not otherwise have Thanksgiving dinner.
About 125 families in Franklin County lined up in front of Preston’s Archery Building last Friday and took home free food packages for a Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a 13-year tradition for the families to collect donations and organize them into boxes for the people who will receive them.
The people who fill and distribute the boxes are proud.
The lunch boxes are thanks to the generosity of Todd Lundahl, President of the Lundahl Building. He gathered family, friends, and a list of companies who assembled the boxes of groceries.
“We’ve been doing this since 2009,” he said. “We came up here and looked at the pantry before Thanksgiving and there wasn’t much in it.”
The first year they gave out turkeys and a food box was added as more companies got involved.
About 50 family members and friends came last Thursday evening to organize the boxes to accommodate the size of the family. They filled the boxes with items from Gossner Foods, Stokes Market, and Schreiber Foods. Donations also came from Casper’s Ice Cream, Theurer’s Quality Meats, Macey’s, The Home Depot and Gilt Flour Mill.
Lundahl included the Lundahl Iron Works Company, Nick Lloyd, Steve Aust, Edge Excavation and finally Lee’s Marketplace.
“I have a list of people and the first thing I do is mark their names so no one knows who they’re helping,” he said. “Then we mark the boxes with the number of people in the family and fill in the boxes to reflect the size of the family.”
On Friday morning, about 25 volunteers helped push the boxes into the cars lined up for their lunch boxes.
“You have to see it. They were way out on the freeway,” he said. “We have great people who come and help us put these boxes together.”
As the boxes left the building, Paisley Johnson’s families gave out a turkey breast; Courtney Coulson, Bryce Douglas and Layne Jorgensen handed out Fat Boy ice cream; and Todd Lundahl distributed cakes.
Steve Aust, the director of the Preston Community Food Pantry, checked the food in the boxes to ensure there was enough food for the number of people the box was intended for as it was delivered to the waiting cars.
“The potatoes came from Nick Lloyd, a producer on Grace,” Aust said. “People have been really generous with donations this year.”
Taya, Teresa and Tosha Lundahl were busy on the phone calling the few people who needed to come and pick up their boxes.
“These three ladies are the power and brains of this operation,” he said. “They’re really good at it and they make things happen,”
When the team finished their work, they set up the tables and cleaned up the hall, and everyone cleaned up after a day of service. There is something for the recipients to be thankful for this Thursday.