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GCEA thanks non-profit organizations and churches for improving lives during the holidays

Thursday, November 24, 2022

The holidays have arrived. Today, families across the Marianas are gathering to celebrate Thanksgiving with feasts complete with turkey, barbeque, red rice, and many favorite side dishes. Also today, many of our residents are facing ongoing challenges of putting food on the table for their families. Thankfully, local non-profit organizations and churches are hosting holiday outreach missions and have been collecting non-perishable foods that will be handed out during Thanksgiving to families in need.

When donating non-perishable food, it is best to keep in mind what can be donated to help make the process go smoothly. For example, some families may not have access to an oven or microwave to heat food, so non-perishable foods that can be cooked on a stovetop would be ideal. Boxed stuffing, instant mashed potatoes, rice, and canned vegetables are preferred.

Additionally, the organization or church may not have refrigerators to store perishable food. Ensure that your donations do not require refrigeration to stay fresh. It is essential to maintain food safety and avoid waste. Food items, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, turkey, ham, pumpkin pie, and other cooked meals, should not be donated. They could pose a food safety risk. Recipients could also have food sensitivities and allergies, which is another important reason to donate foods that have nutrition and ingredient labels. All donated foods should be unopened, in their original packaging, and not expired to ensure food safety.

It has been a custom for Catholics in the CNMI to attend Thanksgiving Mass, bringing with them non-perishable food items to share their blessings with those in need. These are then collected and brought to the Karidåt Social Services, the charity arm of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa. For those who would like to donate without attending the Thanksgiving Mass, it is encouraged to donate directly to the Karidåt Social Services.

CNMI Salvation Army Thanksgiving Dinner

For families who need a hot meal on Thanksgiving, the Salvation Army will provide takeaway meals to the first 500 people as part of their Annual Thanksgiving Dinner. The Salvation Army will be honoring a first come first serve system, and recipients don’t have to register to receive the hot meals.

Today, Nov. 24, at 1:00 PM, the Salvation Army will be at the Garapan Fishing Base across from the Kristo Rai Church. The Salvation Army strongly advises that food not be consumed near the distribution area. Recipients are asked to park and walk to the distribution area and indicate how many family members are accompanying them. For more information, visit the CNMI Salvation Army’s Facebook page.

The GCEA would like to extend its appreciation to the Office of the Mayor of Tinian & Aguiguan and the Rota Mayor’s Office for distributing Thanksgiving Dinners yesterday, November 23.

Donations are still being accepted for Toys for Tots

The Saipan Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Northern Marianas College and the U.S Marine Corps, is still accepting donations for Toys for Tots this Christmas. Toy donations collected from Saipan and Guam will also be distributed in Tinian and Rota.

For information about drop-off locations, visit the Saipan Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page. To become a Toys for Tots partner or to request information, email

The GCEA wishes everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving. We applaud the organizations and businesses that are taking care of our community, especially during the holidays. The work they are accomplishing helps to make the lives of our residents better. Consider giving what you can this holiday season. Your generosity will make a difference in the lives of families, children, veterans, and the elderly in need. Together, We Can!

For more information visit the GCEA website at Engage with the Council on Facebook and Instagram (@cnmigov.economy) or contact them at

By the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers


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