Church, Centre Police Departments offering over 500 holiday meal care packages

Local News

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Families across the country are facing an expensive holiday season due to shortages and rising price tags. To help, the State College Assembly of God and seven Centre Region Police Departments are embracing the season of giving and making sure families are able to celebrate thanksgiving with a warm meal.

“For a number of years, our church was doing about 100 care packages,” said David Culbertson, youth ministries pastor at the Assembly of God.

This year, however, they saw a greater challenge than years past.

“We said, ‘Let’s stretch ourselves. Let’s set a God goal that only He can accomplish.’ And so we said 500 packages,” said Culbertson.

The Assembly of God collected donations from community members and local business, and ultimately surpassed that goal of 500 packages by about 25.

Inside the packages are cans of cranberry sauce, green beans, and corn. Plus, boxes of stuffing and mashed potatoes.

“And then a card from our church that has a $25 gift card to help purchase the rest of those things that don’t fit in the box,” said Culbertson.

Through a partnership with Centre Police Departments, about half of the boxes have already been distributed to families.

“Everybody deserves a good holiday, no one deserves to have to worry about how they’re going to feed their family,” said Dean Woodring, community relations officer for the State College Police Department.

“When it comes to these boxes, there’s probably going to be some hesitation when it comes to asking for them, if prides involved or someone’s afraid to simply ask us, there’s different routes that we can take to get you a care package or give a family that you know a care package,” said Officer Woodring.

Whether picked up in-person or delivered by a secret Santa, the packages are a reminder that the community cares.

“Seeing how it changes their mood and their day and really makes an impact into their family for that holiday season when it was kind of a dark one is huge, we love doing it,” said Culbertson.

Holiday Meal Care Package Locations

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