Over the course of several hours Nov. 9, an assembly line of workers at Night Hawk Frozen Foods in Buda, some of them in festive holiday attire, packed boxes filled with joy, fellowship and, most of all, food.
The moment was part of the annual Turkeys Tackling Hunger holiday meal box program, where volunteers pitched in to help feed 6,000 Hays County residents this Thanksgiving.
Leanne Logan, owner of Night Hawk, and her son, high school junior Will Logan, took part in stuffing the boxes Nov. 9 alongside a dozen or so of Night Hawk employees. This was the fifth year Leanne Logan helped prepare meal boxes and Will Logan’s first as he is usually in class.
Leanne and her husband, Scott Logan, took over Night Hawk from her parents; since then, the family’s priority has been to volunteer together. Leanne Logan first volunteered in 2014 when the food bank prepared the boxes in San Marcos, outside in the cold. Now, Night Hawk workers are paid to come in, stuff boxes and enjoy each other’s company while helping others. The workers are joined by a handful of volunteers from Hays County.
“My husband and I volunteered together five years ago, and we loved it,” Leanne Logan said. “We were outside in San Marcos, in 30-degree weather, though, so now we have it here and I close the plant down.”
The assembly line began at 8 a.m. and went until midday with a fast, but lively crew of singing employees and food bank representatives dressed as turkeys.
Mark Rodriguez, Night Hawk employee, said he hopes the boxes allow families to enjoy the same Thanksgiving festivities he has each year.
“I always eat a lot of food with my family and we watch football,” Rodriguez said. “I wouldn’t want another family to miss out on the same thing.”
The Hays County Food Bank estimates they packed 2500 boxes, which provides a Thanksgiving meal to each family that registered through the donation program.
The boxes are filled with a frozen turkey, stuffing, canned vegetables and a dessert.
Food comes from Lamar Advertising, Grande Communications, Wells Fargo, H-E-B, Heat Bootcamp, Buda Turkey Trot, and Seton Medical Center Hays. The boxes are taken from Buda and delivered by Little Guys Movers.
While HCFB officials have been able to meet the demand for this year, they ultimately hope to obtain more donations and support to keep the program going in the future.
“We need more outreach. We work really hard on our outreach on social media and people know about it from year to year,” said Eleanor Owen-Oshan, HCFB program director. “But we have had calls in the last week from people wanting to register and we have had to stop registration.”
Owen Oshan said the food bank would be able to register more families, but they must register during September and mid-October. Volunteers interested in donating food for the holidays can do so at haysfoodbank.org or in-person at the San Marcos office.