SELBYVILLE, Del.- For the past 25 years, Mountaire Farms has led an effort to feed thousands of needy families across Delmarva during the holidays with its  Thanksgiving for Thousands event. 

It all started because a local church in Dagsboro, Del., could no longer
accommodate the growing number of people it was feeding every holiday. The church was running out of room, so it was decided a boxed meal system could
feed more families in need, and with Mountaire’s help, theThanksgiving for
Thousands program was born. That first year 300 boxes were packed and
distributed.

This year, 20,000 boxes will be packed – 10,000 on Delmarva and 10,000 in
North Carolina – to help feed families during the holiday.

On Delmarva it all begins with a food drive this weekend, Saturday, Nov. 16. Seventeen area grocery stores will be collecting nonperishable food items as volunteers from various organizations come together to help. Twelve different volunteer groups, including local VFWs and American Legions, Lions Clubs, various church groups and more, will be out in front of stores handing out lists of what is needed and collecting donated items. Area schools have also been collecting cans for the effort.

Then on Monday, Nov. 25, hundreds of volunteers will gather at
Mountaire Farms' warehouse in Selbyville to pack 10,000 boxes with a
complete Thanksgiving dinner for a family, including a Mountaire
Farms chicken. Boxes also include corn, string beans, yams, cranberry sauce,
stuffing mix and a brownie mix for dessert. The packing, which takes place at
50 Hosier Street, begins at 8:30 a.m. and runs until the last box is packed and
loaded up that afternoon.

The distribution of those boxes happens the next day when various community organizations pick up boxes and help distribute to families in need.

“We look forward to this event every year because it brings people
together,” said Phillip Plylar, president of Mountaire Farms. “Our company
has always been involved in feeding people, but it’s especially meaningful for
everyone to come together to help out during the holiday season. And to
celebrate 25 years shows we really are committed to making a difference.”

In North Carolina, employees and volunteers will pack 7,500 boxes at Mountaire Farms' Lumber Bridge plant, and 2,500 at the company's new Siler City location. Community volunteers are welcome and to learn more on how to be part of this event, contact Roger Marino at 302-934-3123 or email him at RMarino@Mountaire.com