Teens Get In on the Giving

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With the help of its partners, generous benefactors and charitable volunteers, Hams for Fams — an organization of dedicated local teenagers — spreads joy annually in the form of a delicious and nutritious food basket.

Since 2015 — when a small group of high school juniors wanted to make an impact on their community — the organization has seen steady growth, raising more than $120,000 and helping nearly 900 families. However, donations are down about $6,000 compared to last year at this time. So, Hams for Fams is seeking donations to reach this year’s goals.

“Hams for Fams is more than feeding people in need in our community,” says Co-president Hayes Martin. “It is connecting with people in unfortunate circumstances and extending a helping hand. It is involving teenagers in service and showing them through the experience how important it is to give back.”

Each holiday basket includes a ham, bread and butter, lettuce, milk, eggs, beans, rice, potatoes and much more. The organization works year-round gathering funds and planning the event. It also prepares baskets throughout the year and delivers them to the homeless

“My favorite part of the drive is definitely delivering to families and getting to meet them,” says Carter Montalbano, the organization’s co-president. “When you meet these families face to face and hand them their free Christmas meal, their eyes light up and their mood instantly changes.”

Many high schools offer service learning and service opportunities, but Hams for Fams is a great example of youth sharing their voices and making their own decisions.

“Giving back to the community is an essential part of being,” says Connor Quaglino, family coordinator. “Service is one of the most human acts someone can do, especially in their local community. Finally, being able to take action by my own accord instead of being handed service opportunities by others feels more meaningful to me when I actively seek out service opportunities as opposed to being told to do something.”

So many of the families appreciate this effort — especially those who can’t get out.

“Being able to speak to these families and hear their stories and how much we mean to them helps me to understand their situation and what it means to be able to help them,” says Quaglino. “It makes me feel proud of the younger community, and it gives me satisfaction knowing that I could have changed somebody’s Christmas or even year.”



To use blessings in the community to help feed those in need.


How to Apply to Receive Help

You can refer your own family or any other family in need by mail or online.


You can mail a letter to:

Hams For Fams,

PO BOX 1773

3517 Johnson St.

Metairie, LA 70001




Phone Number: (504) – 617 – 4158


The organization partners with two local businesses, Canseco’s Market and Chisesi’s Hams

How Readers Can Help

Volunteers are needed on December 23 to pack perishable food items into boxes and deliver meals to families from 9am-12pm. COVID-19 protocols will be followed.


How Readers and Businesses Can Help

Donations are needed to help Ham For Fam feed needy families. And this year there are a lot more families to feed.




Categories: Labors of Love