As holiday nears, RISE looks to fill Thanksgiving baskets for families in need


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More than 1,000 baskets full of Thanksgiving dinner fixings were distributed to needy families by RISE last year, and with the holiday less than one month away, demand for baskets has not diminished.

That’s why RISE, which is a private, nonprofit social service agency serving residents of Hightstown and East Windsor, is asking for help from the community to fill at least 1,000 Thanksgiving baskets.

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Donors should drop off food at the RISE Thrift Store at 114 Rogers Ave. in Hightstown Borough by Nov. 18. It is open Monday through Saturday between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., and on Sunday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

“RISE delivered more than 1,000 Thanksgiving turkeys and baskets of fixings to families in our community last year. We anticipate the need to be even greater in the midst of an economic downturn and financial instability for many families,” said Leslie Koppel, RISE’s executive director.

“RISE has a goal of collecting enough turkeys and non-perishable food items to fill 1,000 baskets so that each and every one of our neighbors is given the opportunity to enjoy a Thanksgiving celebration with their loved ones,” Koppel said.

RISE is asking donors to drop off turkeys, gravy, stuffing and vegetables, such as yams, potatoes, carrots, onions and squash to fill those baskets, she said. Cranberry sauce and muffin mixes also are on the list.

While food for Thanksgiving baskets is appreciated, the need to feed families does not end after the holiday, she said. Pasta and pasta sauce, rice, cereal, oatmeal, cans of fish or tuna, beans and soup are needed. Chicken or turkey broth and canned or dried fruit also are needed.

Koppel said personal hygiene items also are appreciated – soap, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, deodorant, razors, baby supplies, diapers and wipes.

For donors who would prefer to make a financial contribution, they may do so by mailing checks made payable to RISE. The checks should be sent to RISE, P.O. Box 88, Hightstown, NJ 08520.

Each dollar raised would buy five meals, Koppel said.

For more information on RISE and the Thanksgiving food drive is available at

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