When a holiday meal is a luxury

Brittany and Clint with their children
December 12, 2018
by Paul Morello

No turkey, no stuffing, no potatoes, and no pie.  

For Christmas, a traditional holiday meal was completely out of the picture for Brittany and her husband Clint because they just couldn’t afford it. Instead, they were planning to serve their two young boys grilled cheese sandwiches or spaghetti. 

“Holiday meals are expensive,” Brittany said. “And they’re not in our budget. I’ve never been able to buy a turkey.” 

Brittany and Clint both have jobs – he has a college degree and works at a local bank while she has a job at a movie theater near their home in Salt Lake City. But the family’s income is still at the poverty level. And, they still need help making ends meet, especially around the holidays. Sometimes, they even go without heat to help pay for food and other bills. 

But that won’t be the case this year. 

That’s because Brittany visited a mobile pantry provided by the Utah Food Bank, a member of the Feeding America network, which was distributing holiday meals – including a whole turkey. 

“For Christmas this year we got to eat meat, and it was such a luxury!” Brittany said. “We also got cranberries, potatoes, pumpkin pie…the entire meal. My son was so excited and kept saying, ‘I love turkey!’ There was something so magical about being able to sit at the dinner table with my family and enjoy that holiday meal.” 

Because of the pantry, Brittany, Clint and their two boys will be able to gather around the table this Christmas and share a meal together – and make memories as a family.  

“As a mom, I feel bad when I can’t provide my sons with things other families seem to take for granted – like holiday meals,” Brittany said. “It’s heartbreaking. But because of the mobile pantry, I could provide that for them this year. I’m grateful, it’s been such a huge blessing.”  

Inspired by Brittany and Clint’s story? Join us by making a gift this holiday season to ensure families like Brittany’s - our neighbors – can put a meal on the table for themselves and their loved ones.

Colleen Callahan contributed to this story.