Nearly 100 Moffat County families to eat donated turkey dinner | CraigDailyPress.com

Nearly 100 Moffat County families to eat donated turkey dinner

More than 80 turkeys were donated to Love INC to fill turkey boxes with Thanksgiving meals to feed families in need. Valerie Boulger, right, helps unload the boxes Saturday.

— Nearly 100 boxes filled with turkey dinner and holiday greetings were delivered door to door on Saturday by volunteers coordinated by Love In the Name of Christ (Love INC).

This year, 20 boxes were taken to families in Dinosaur and about 80 to families throughout Craig and Moffat County in an effort to ensure Thanksgiving dinner is enjoyed by everyone, even people experiencing financial difficulties, said Love INC Director Pat Jones.

The number of food delivered this year increased by 60 boxes, Jones said.

Love INC started helping the Inter-faith Food Bank with turkey boxes in 2003, contributing 23 boxes.

In 2010 the number grew to 46 boxes, and in 2013 Love INC took the program over, freeing the food bank to focus on Christmas baskets and emergency food aid, Jones said.

The program relies on a small army of about 60 volunteers and weeks of planning managed by Janet Wright.

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"Love INC organizes the churches. Pat Jones asks the churches to donate the food based on a list. People drop the food off two weeks prior to delivery," Wright said. "Once food is donated, we count it all. We find out how much we have to purchase."

The group then uses cash donations to purchase the remaining supplies.

"City market is a big help to us. I call in advance and pre-order some items and they have them there waiting for me," Wright said.

Each box includes a turkey, dressing margarine, onions, potatoes, yams, brown sugar, marshmallows, gravy mix, cranberry sauce, green beans, corn, rolls, pie and cool whip.

This year the turkeys, 150 of them, were donated by TIC and Turkeys not distributed for Thanksgiving will be used to help full Christmas boxes destined for families in Dinosaur, Jones said.

Each turkey box is labeled and includes special greeting cards made by Sunday school children.

"Depending on the price of the turkey, each box costs between $25 to $35," Jones said. "This year donations of food and money were received from a Sandrock Elementary School food drive, the churches, Sunday school kids, a family that brought 100 cans of yams, the Craig Police Department events committee and food drives at City Market."

The members of Calvary Baptist Church make-up any shortfall, Jones said. "It really is a community effort to feed people who are having a hard time around Thanksgiving."

Delivering the boxes provides an opportunity for volunteers and recipients to connect.

"When we deliver the boxes it's an opportunity to pray with families and invite them to church. It brings a light that there still are people that care. Some cry. They are overwhelmed with love to know that people care," said volunteer Valerie Boulger.

Love INC is also coordinating with Calvary Baptist and Craig Christian Church to serve a hot meal this Thanksgiving to the seniors at Sunset Meadows I and II.

"The meals on wheels program get's the day off and we still provide nourishment that is needed by providing a family-style holiday meal," Jones said.

Additionally, St. Michaels Church will be serving a hot meal for those in need of one at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, Jones said.

Even before the turkeys are roasted for Thanksgiving, Love INC is looking ahead.

They are taking applications for Christmas for Kids. The applications are available now by calling 970-826-4400 and must be turned in by December 1st.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.