Local food pantries looking for help to complete Thanksgiving meals

Food pantry
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News 12 This Morning / Friday, Nov. 9, 2012

APPLING, Ga. -- Thanksgiving is just two weeks away and as you prepare your grocery list for your holiday meal, food pantries in the area are doing the same, but they're missing a few key items.

Columbia County Cares food pantry offers Thanksgiving meals to their registered customers. They come in a brown sack and include staples like a turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberries and more. But with just two weeks left until the holiday, they need your help collecting the final touches for the special meal.

"I thank God. It's a blessing that you do have somewhere to go and get some extra food if you need it," said Glenda Curry, a regular at the Columbia County Cares food pantry.

Once a month, Curry and other registered clients go to the food pantry and get a shopping cart filled with food for free.

"I can pay another bill," she said. "It helps tide me over so I don't have to go to the grocery store I can put that money towards a bill and it really helps."

For the month before Thanksgiving they get a little bit more, a Thanksgiving sack.

"It's a complete meal," Curry said. "It has everything you need for a complete Thanksgiving meal."

"There's a lot of people that just simply would not have a Thanksgiving meal," said Dave Iverson, executive director of Columbia County Cares.

It's the 10th year Thanksgiving meals have been available, but this year, a few parts are missing.

"Canned cranberries and evaporated milk," Iverson said. "We don't have enough donations, so we're currently having to buy those every week."

But Iverson says your donations can help.

"You know a lot of them can't afford to go out and get this stuff on their own," he explained.

With Columbia County's growing population, more people are looking for help.

"We've got a growth of maybe 80 percent from the first time we started doing this until now."

Meaning more donations are needed to make sure everyone has a meal to be thankful for.

"It does wonders," Curry said. "Especially for people who are less fortunate and they don't have that meal to prepare they know they can come to the local food bank and get a meal that's gonna take them through the holidays. I think it's a blessing."

So far they've done about 300 meals but still have next week to go. You had to be registered by Oct. 20 in order to receive a meal. It may not seem like a lot, but its those little things like the cranberries and milk that really allow it to be a full Thanksgiving meal for those who need it.

If you want to help, they take donations at the food pantry in Appling or the Bi-Lo on Columbia Road and Belair Road. They are 100 percent donation supported. They are also always looking for volunteers as well.

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