Volunteers pack thousands of holiday meal boxes at Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva

GENEVA, Ill. -- Volunteers were busy packing thousands of holiday meal boxes on Saturday at the Northern Illinois Food Bank in west suburban Geneva.

The boxes include a turkey or, fruit, vegetables, potatoes, stuffing, gravy, dessert and beverages. And for the first time, ham will be option in December.

The food bank's first holiday meal box distribution was in 1999. Back then, it provided 3,500 meals to families in need. Now in their 19th year, the plan is to distribute more than 30,000 boxes.

To put it into perspective, today alone, volunteers packed 65,704 pounds of food which is the equivalent to 54,753 meals.

Jewel-Osco is a main sponsor and many employees served as volunteers along with their family members.

Donations are also being accepted. One $30 donation goes to one holiday meal box, which will provide the fixings for a traditional holiday meal box for a family of 8 through the holidays.

To donate or learn more, visit https://solvehungertoday.org/