A holiday meal from an 'angel'

Ralph and his son, Michael.
November 2, 2023

Ralph Deane and his son Michael loved to volunteer every year at the Thanksgiving Angels holiday distribution. 

“We’d be unloading turkeys all day,” Michael said. “At the end of the night, we’d get food and then we'd walk home.”

Ralph was a regular volunteer at the South Community Food Pantry, where he also donated his time as a cook for the meals program.

But recently, Ralph’s Parkinson’s disease has limited his mobility. Michael now stays home and works as his father’s personal care assistant. 

Though parts of the holiday have changed for them, Ralph and Michael will continue other traditions, like making big meals for their families. 

Michael has two children, including Janie, 4, who joined them at the distribution. All told, Ralph has five grandchildren. They were looking forward to spending the holiday and following weekend together.

The 11th annual Thanksgiving Angels is a collaboration of 21 food pantries, organizations, and faith communities to distribute 1,700 holiday meals to households in the Pittsfield, Massachusetts area. The organizations partner with the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, a Feeding America network member.

Thanks to their efforts, nearly 6,500 men, women, and children received turkeys and the fixings to celebrate a traditional Thanksgiving meal in their homes.