Alice Campbell Havre Daily News email@example.com
Families gathered Wednesday evening to enjoy a meal in celebration of Thanksgiving at Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation. The community meal, in its third year, was sponsored by Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, child support services, social services, the courts and law enforcement agencies, said Brian Molina Jr., who works with the TANF program as a family resource coordinator. Molina along with Corinne Parisian and Linda Belcourt, headed up the planning. Sure they had at least one hot meal during the holiday season because they probably can't afford to have one," Molina said. About 160 people attended the meal, he said, down from the 250 who came last year. But the caseload at TANF is up, between 175 and 200, including the 30 from Havre, he said. That number will rise again during the winter. "We're expecting another rise here, and it will maybe go to 210 cases," he said. Food abounded, with six 20-pound turkeys from the TANF program and four 20-pound birds from law enforcement, gravy, salads and pumpkin pies. "And we have a lot of potatoes," Molina said. "I spent most of my morning peeling potatoes." The work that he and many other volunteers did was worth the effort. "It's important because it promotes families, two-parent families," he said, adding, "We're really trying to include fathers." Cohesive families are important, he said. "I just feel like it's important for children to get to know their fathers because fathers have a lot to offer that the mothers don't," he said. "I wouldn't be the person that I am today without my dad and his guidance." He's already looking forward to holding a Christmas dinner, he said, and next year he expects to have Thanksgiving dinner again. "It's a really good thing for the community," he said.