It's because of BTAC, Alvarado said, that her family will have a
happy Thanksgiving. She signed up for a "basket" that includes
turkey, canned vegetables, pie-filling, stuffing mix and more.
"[The kids] usually get up really early, because they know that I
have all this food, you know. All my daughters, they say, 'Mom, what
do you want me to help you with?' They're really excited about
helping me cook," Alvarado said.
Each year, BTAC prepares what it calls Thanksgiving baskets, or
packages for low-income families and individuals that include all the
ingredients necessary for a Thanksgiving dinner with all the
"We also try to give them breakfast. We try to take care of the
whole day," said Barbara Howell, executive director for BTAC, adding
that they sometimes include pancake mix in the baskets too.
Since Nov. 15, the center took more than 185 orders for
Thanksgiving baskets. The center's funding comes from a variety of
places, including the general public, religious organizations,
private donations and the city's community development block grant --
a type of funding dispersed to the city through the federal
Fortunately, Howell said, the center doesn't have to buy food for
the baskets. "If we didn't have all of the food donated, it would be
impossible," Howell said.
Trader Joe's and Pavilions are among the providers of food, and
local residents often drop off extra turkeys.
"Yesterday, my husband went to the grocery store ... they were
handing out free turkeys with your purchase and we had actually
already purchased our turkey and said 'We'll take it and donate it,'
" resident Linda Fitzgerald said.
Those needing assistance through the holiday season should contact
BTAC at 846-2330.