Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Robert St John: Thanksgiving & Extra Table

 Thanksgiving is my favorite non-religious holiday. It's not even close. I guess it's been that way as long as I can remember. 

In my early years Thanksgiving was all about the food. My grandmother always put out a great spread at Thanksgiving. She was an excellent cook and an extremely gifted hostess. Entertaining guests in her home— whether family, friends, or both— always seemed like an effortless endeavor for her. 


These days I appreciate Thanksgiving because it's a time to share a meal with family and friends. The Thanksgiving meal I serve these days is nothing more than a slightly updated version of what my grandmother served back in the 1960s and 1970s. I am blessed to have received such a solid foundation when it comes to feeding others and entertaining in my home.


Though, the older I get, the more I am aware that there are far too many people who don’t know where, when, or if they will receive their next meal. In Mississippi, one out of every five citizens can’t afford enough food to lead a healthy lifestyle. There are over 600,000 of the state’s 2.9 million citizens who suffer from food insecurity. Over half of that total are children. 


Those children are leading an entirely different childhood than the one I was blessed with. There are Mississippi kids today who exist on school meals for breakfast and lunch, and don’t eat again until the next day’s school breakfast. The problem is real. Hunger doesn’t just exist in some third-world Central American country, or overseas where your church or synagogue is doing mission work. It’s in your hometown. 


Over 20% of senior citizens in Mississippi are having trouble making ends meet and can’t lead a healthy lifestyle. They aren’t worried about choosing between cornbread dressing or stuffing on Thanksgiving Day. They’re wondering if they will have anything at all and still be able to pay the electricity bill. 


Thanksgiving to most of us means a full table with leftovers for days. But it isn’t even a blip on the map to someone who is struggling to feed themselves on an average weekday. Mississippi is the number one state in the nation for food insecurity, and it’s the last thing we want to be number one in. 


In 2009, I founded Extra Table, a 501c3 non-profit established on the premise of— what if every home and business in Mississippi had an extra table where they could feed their neighbors in need. Over the past 12 years, Extra Table has grown into a statewide force for feeding Mississippians in need, and currently raises money to deliver healthy food to over 50 agencies across the state at no cost to the agency. 


Extra Table was founded on two key principles that we still follow today. 

1.) 100% of the money we raise for food goes to purchase food.

2.) The food we deliver to food agencies across the state is healthy food.


Today, every dollar Extra Table receives allows us to deliver 5.9 healthy meals to feeding agencies from the Delta to the Coast, from the Hill Country to the Piney Woods, from the state capital to the campuses of most of our state institutions of higher learning, and many points in between.


Our procedural approach has grown more effective over the years. In the early days, we purchased food from a single foodservice distributor and had it dropped shipped to our partner agencies. These days, we have partnered with the fine folks at Chow Purchasing, and through their kindness, generosity, and contacts we purchase tractor trailer loads of food from all across the country at below-wholesale prices. Thanks to Chow’s bigheartedness and passion for the Extra Table mission they allow us to store all of that food in their warehouse— and they deliver it to our partner agencies — at no cost to Extra Table.


Extra Table is a big-heart non-profit founded on business principles. As I have learned over the course of my 40- year restaurant career, one must be fluid and light on one’s feet if one is to succeed in business. A successful non-profit— and a successful business— must be open to new opportunities and methods of operation. That is why Extra Table has 2,000 turkeys to give away to families in need this Thanksgiving.


Since March 2020, the supply chain has limited almost every industry to some extent. We heard from some of our purchasing partners that turkeys are going to be a little scarce this Thanksgiving. So, Extra Table executive director Martha Allen and her team got to work and purchased 2,000 turkeys. Extra Table will distribute the turkeys to our partner agencies who will, in turn, make sure that their clients who would have gone without this Thanksgiving will have a turkey on the table for their family.

Extra Table is letting our friends and supporters sponsor families in need this Thanksgiving for a $15.00 donation per bird. If you would like to buy a turkey for a Mississippi family who otherwise would not have one on their table this year go to and click on the turkey button. We’ll make it happen.


I grew up with a single mom who supported my brother and me on an art teacher’s salary. We didn’t have much money, but we never missed a meal. We certainly never missed a Thanksgiving meal. You can make sure 2,000 Mississippi families have a Thanksgiving meal by donating to Extra Table,


If you’re feeling thankful this year and in the giving spirit. If you remember how much Thanksgiving meals have meant to you and your family throughout your life and you want to help someone else. You can purchase an extra turkey when you’re at the grocery store and take it to a family in need. I fully endorse that idea. Or you can go to— to what I believe is the most efficient, effective, and innovative answer to fighting hunger in Mississippi— and for $15.00 we’ll make sure that turkey gets to a Mississippi family in your area. Either way you’re helping your neighbors in need.




 Cranberry Relish


12 oz. bag       Fresh Cranberries

1/4 cup             Shallot, minced

1 cup               Madeira Wine

1 /2 cup           White sugar

1 /2 cup           Brown Sugar

1 /4 cup           Orange Juice

1/4 cup             Cranberry Juice

2 tsp                Cornstarch

2 Tbl               Cold Water


Combine cranberries, shallot, Madeira, sugars, orange juice and cranberry juice in a 1-quart sauce pot and simmer over low- medium heat for 20-30 minutes or until the cranberries become soft. Separately, mix the cornstarch with the cold water then add it to the cranberry mixture. Turn up heat to a heavy simmer and continue to cook, stirring well, for another 5-10 minutes. Serve warm.


Yield: 8-10 servings


Anonymous said...

To bad you will have to offer your first born to even have turkey and ham this year. Thanks Dr. Fauci and Mumbling Joe ! Thanks a bunch. Gobble gobble.

Anonymous said...

"Non-religious?" Who do you think we're giving thanks to?

Anonymous said...

Thank You Bobby St. John. Doing the Lord's work.

Anonymous said...

What's the point of this rinky dink website anyway ? What's the point in posting certified gold comments if there is no one to post them ? KF got himself a podcast now so I guess us pleebs might as well find another outlet to share our wonderful takes. While he's out there supporting taking our freedoms for a hopped up cold virus............

Anonymous said...

Apparently St John worships mainly himself and money.

Maybe he could read of Thanksgiving and its designation as a holy day of thanksgiving over the centuries. You know, Robert, like in the charters of colonists, practiced by Washington and Lincoln, who "proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens", to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November.

That "non religious" holiday.

Anonymous said...

Non religious ? Hmmmmmm, so it's confirmed that Mr. St John isn't quite as smart as he thinks he is ? Or he just "forgot" how it all came about as pointed out by actual smart people.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing more mentally ill than listening to midwit Americans regurgitate the indoctrination they received in school as if it were actual history.

The Native Americans should’ve slaughtered every English invader that didn’t starve due to the fact that the greedy “pilgrims” all brought little more than gold mining equipment or tobacco seeds and barely enough food for the Atlantic crossing and intended to enslave the natives to mine gold or plant and harvest tobacco.. A real pious Christian bunch indeed.

Anonymous said...

"The Native Americans should’ve..."

Yeah, yeah, yeah, shoulda, coulda, woulda...but didn't. The rousing battle cry of losers the world over.

Anonymous said...

5:52, at some point you'll have to justify your attitude. Hopefully, you will repent and seek forgiveness, as you're heading to a place with no air conditioning.

Anonymous said...

"5:52, at some point you'll have to justify your attitude."

Shows what you know. I've got to justify my attitude every day. Just ask my wife and kids. Normally, I just write the check, shoot an Injun or two, and move on. In other words...sarcasm, may I introduce 6:50PM. 6:50PM, may I introduce sarcasm...I'm hoping you two will find something in common. If not, at least understand each other.

Anonymous said...

Robert's is a good guy, but Thanksgiving may in fact be the MOST religious holiday. Is he trying to ingratiate himself.

Anonymous said...

Whoa whoa whoa. Give Robert a break. Religious as in church calendar ( Easter, Christmas,Hannaku,Ramadan, etc) vs American made. His heart is good. You are betraying your own coldness. He’s trying hard

Moses the Lawgiver said...

I was waiting for someone (thank you, 10:03!) to point out that Mr. St. J meant to refer to holidays not on the liturgical calendar. True, he phrased it awkwardly, but those of us who even know what a liturgical calendar is gave him benefit of the doubt. But,10:03, it’s “Hanukkah,” not “Hannaku.”

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In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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