Helping some local families in need get into the Christmas spirit is a tradition for the members of the Carbondale council of the Knights of Columbus. For the eighth year, Council 329 distributed boxes containing a frozen turkey and all the trimmings to 25 local families.

Recipient families were selected by Catholic Social Services of Carbondale, who identify them by only a number, not a name.

Each box of food that the council handed out contained several types of canned vegetables, gravy mix, potatoes, stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, and ready-to-bake dinner and dessert rolls. “We do this every year to help some of the families in the area have a really nice dinner,” said Richard Kovaleski, event organizer and Grand Knight of Council No. 329. “The first year we had ten families, but then every year after that we have helped 25 families by giving them food boxes.”

The food for the holiday boxes is purchased by the Carbondale Knights council, with the help of generous donations made by individual members and from several area businesses. This year, Catholic Social Services donated over 100 pounds of potatoes to be included in the food boxes. Trichilo Food Service stored the frozen turkeys in one of their walk-in coolers until December 20, the day of the holiday distribution.

On hand to help for the first time this year was William Asinari, Honesdale, who is a seminarian for the Diocese of Scranton. He was impressed by the Knights’ food distribution as a means of helping those in need to have a happier holiday and by the willingness of the council members to take the time to help others. “I like to participate in these sorts of things because the community really needs it, and the more people who are out there helping, the more hands on deck, the better it can be,” remarked Mr. Asinari.

Throughout the year, the Carbondale Knights of Columbus council holds several fundraisers to finance the holiday food distribution and other charitable endeavors, including seminarian sponsorship, a generous yearly donation to the ARC of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and paying the fees for a Boy Scout in financial need to attend a weeklong Boy Scout camp at Goose Pond in the Poconos. Council 329 fundraisers include a stand at the Carbondale Pioneer Nights Festival, a spaghetti dinner at St. Rose of Lima Church in September, and a Lenten foods sale each spring.