Thanksgiving tables across the state will be a bit less crowded this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. But thanks to the generosity of longtime Family Service of RI supporter, Tufts Health Plan, families will still be able to safely celebrate a traditional feast as they isolate together this holiday.

Due to COVID safety measures, thanksgiving deliveries on Monday looked a bit different than it has in years past. In addition to the 350 donated frozen turkeys and side dishes, kits also included Be Safe supplies including cloth masks, hand sanitizer, and COVID safety resources for the entire family. The 40% increase in the number of donated Thanksgiving food items distributed this year over last shows the need for assistance in Rhode Island remains high this holiday season.

“Tufts Health Plan swooped in at the beginning of this pandemic to help Family Service of RI with our Be Safe program which has helped 28,000 Rhode Islanders and counting. Now they are stepping up yet again so that we can bring a shared family meal, stories, and love to tables again this holiday season,” said Maggie Slane, FSRI’s Vice President of Advancement in a statement. “Without us, many would have none. Tufts Health Plan and so many other Rhode Island partners are helping to create a safe way to experience the holiday this season and we’re so grateful for their partnership. If you and your company want to help, text HOLIDAYHELP to 44321.”  

This is the first time FSRI has distributed Thanksgiving turkeys using COVID-19 precautions. To keep everyone safe, distribution on Monday followed strict “safe delivery” protocols that have been honed by the Be Safe program over the last 9 months. 

“We are grateful for organizations like Family Service of Rhode Island for providing local families in need with a Thanksgiving meal during these difficult times,” said Domenic Delmonico, executive director of Rhode Island Medicaid at Tufts Health Plan. “With the pandemic leaving so many people in our community jobless or financially struggling, this is the time for us to come together to support those in need during the Thanksgiving holiday.”