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11/21/2013 Sharing Center: helping families

Thanksgiving food baskets to be distributed

Thanksgiving is a time to "give thanks" and one of the best ways to show gratitude is to bestow back onto the community, especially during the holidays. The Community Sharing Center in Westcliffe is always the focal point for such seasonal generosity and this year it will distribute food for needy families for the holiday on Saturday, November 23, at 1 p.m. Distribution will be held at the Sharing Center next to the Hope Lutheran church at 312 Third Street in Westcliffe.

This week, sharing center volunteer Ruth Mitchell is busy packing paper grocery bags for residents to buy at the Westcliffe Supermarket. These bags, each costing $18, will then be donated to local families for their Thanksgiving meal.

"I fill the bags with various side foods, like cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, green beans, French onions, gravy and stuffing mix," Mitchell says. "Then, we will furnish a turkey, which will be given to needy families."

To help feed local families, residents can go to the supermarket, purchase the bag, which will then be placed at the back of the store for Mitchell to collect for the distribution day.

"Last year we distributed 240 meals," Mitchell says. "And I expect that same number of families and maybe more for this year’s giveaway."

According to Mitchell, Care and Share, the Pueblo-based food bank for southern Colorado, sent out trucks to pick up turkeys donated by individuals and corporations. Through a "bring a turkey to work" program, businesses collect turkeys from its employees; Care and Share then collects the turkeys for distribution. The organization plans to round up 10,000 turkeys in the region.

The turkeys, once gathered, will be hand counted and designated for various distribution sites.

"I ordered 320 turkeys," Mitchell says. "Early Saturday morning, we’ll be in Pueblo picking them up."

The food drive, called Harvest of Love, makes sure that families throughout southern Colorado get a fulsome Thanksgiving meal. Mitchell says, "The community in Westcliffe is so giving and makes our Thanksgiving food distribution possible."

For more information, contact the local Sharing Center at 371-7664.

– Cyn Williams