Helping area families in need with their Christmas celebrations is a tradition for the members of the Carbondale council of the Knights of Columbus. For the ninth year, members of Council 329 distributed food boxes containing a frozen turkey and all the trimmings to several local families. This year, boxes were distributed by the council to twenty-one local families chosen by Catholic Social Services.

Each box of food that the council handed out contained everything needed to cook a hearty holiday meal. In addition to a large frozen turkey, each box contained several types of canned vegetables, gravy mix, potatoes, stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, and ready-to-bake dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls. “We do this every Christmas because we want to help some of the families in the area have a nice holiday dinner,” said Richard Kovaleski, Grand Knight of Council 329. “The first year we had ten families, but then every year after that we have helped over 20 families with turkey dinner baskets.”

The food for the holiday boxes was purchased by the Carbondale Knights of Columbus council, with additional financial help of generous donations made by many individual council members and from several area businesses. “A lot of members and officers donated a turkey. One officer, who wishes to remain anonymous, made a substantial donation. The council, with the help of the vendors, bought most of the food,” explained Mr. Kovaleski.

Council members helping to distribute the baskets mentioned several area businesses, including Convenient Food Mart, Price Insurance Agency, Brennan & Brennan Funeral Home, Weis Markets, Hendricks Manufacturing, and Trichilo Food Service who contributed to or helped out with the food basket endeavor.

Throughout the year, the Carbondale Knights of Columbus council holds several fundraisers to finance the holiday food distribution and their other charitable efforts, which include 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. Additional Council 329 fundraisers are a stand at the Carbondale Pioneer Nights Festival, a spaghetti dinner at St. Rose of Lima Church in September, and the sale of cabbage and noodles and clam chowder on Fridays during Lent.