Fresh or frozen, brined or spatchcocked, roasting a turkey with all the trimmings can be a fairly expensive and labor-intensive holiday undertaking. For those who may find them too expensive, there’s help available in various forms. Food pantries, school groups, religious institutions, community-minded businesses, and even the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office have been distributing turkeys to those in need.
But to successfully serve a turkey, one also needs a way to cook it, ideally an oven or some such apparatus. Once upon a time, an entire generation of homeowners in the recently minted suburbs learned exactly what it meant to have beautiful, new kitchens. Nowadays, however, it’s not hard to imagine that among those whose housing situations are not as well appointed as the typical Levitt house of American dream-stock may be — those making do in apartments without kitchens, or whose housing is far less secure over all — a free turkey and trimmings can only go so far.
This is not to disparage the many meaningful charitable efforts that are, fortunately, abundant at this time of year. Rather, this is to say that it points to a larger issue, one that has been talked about again and again in these pages. What can be done about access to safe, appropriate, and affordable housing, in which birthdays, holidays — everydays, really — can be enjoyed to the fullest?
Solutions to this problem, elusive for so long, would truly be something to be thankful for. In the meantime, to you who can give to your local food pantries, please do, and give, too, to organizations like Meals on Wheels that help deliver prepared meals to those who need them.