Food boxes were being prepared for delivery to clients who have come upon hard times, ensuring that the families and individuals receiving assistance can have a happier Thanksgiving.
Similar scenes took place across East Texas and the nation as communities helped their neighbors.
Food banks in East Texas are finding increasing demand for their services during the current bad economy.
Upshur County is no exception.
Both Upshur County Shares and Tri-County report that the number of clients requesting food or other help has increased dramatically.
The Ore City Food Pantry also has experienced increased demand.
The East Texas Food Bank provides non-perishables to these and other food banks.
In Gilmer, Wal-Mart gave the food banks a special price on turkeys so that more families could be served.
On Monday morning, members from the Gilmer First United Methodist Church delivered 30 turkeys and 30 food boxes to Tri-County.
Some of the canned goods and non-perishables had been gathered by Gilmer-area Boy Scouts.
Tri-County’s Gilmer director, Cindy Gilberg, said that the food would be delivered that afternoon.
Turkeys were to be given to those families with five or more members.
Where possible, some fresh fruit or produce was included.
Tri-County is located at 210 Marshall St., just east of the courthouse square in Gilmer.
Upshur County Shares, located on Buffalo St. just west of the square, is a ministry of the Gilmer Area Ministerial Fellowship. First Baptist Church of Gilmer provides the building from which the food pantry operates, and volunteers from other churches also work out of it.
On Monday, they were preparing to distribute about 50 food boxes.
Those going to families of four or more received turkeys, while smaller families or single people received a whole chicken or a leg of lamb.
Jim Small, one of the volunteers at Upshur County Shares, said that the quantity of food is made possible by not only donations of non-perishables and canned goods, but money donations which are used to purchase goods at the East Texas Food Bank in Tyler.
Carol Brock, The Mirror’s Ore City correspondent explained how it works: “You can go to a store and spend $10 on canned goods to donate, and that helps. But if you donate money to one of the local food banks, they can go to the East Texas Food Bank and purchase food for 17 cents a pound.”
Small said that is because most of the food at that central food bank is donated to it, and they charge only the overhead for storing it until it is distributed.
People helping people—part of the American experience at Thanksgiving!