Good Samaritan Turkey Challenge and Second Harvest Project Thanksgiving to put holiday feast on table for thousands in need

Sue Guinn Legg • Updated Nov 7, 2018 at 9:37 PM

Two weeks out from Thanksgiving, the rush in on to make sure thousands of area residents in need are included the national day of feasting.

At Good Samaritan Ministries, a communitywide “Turkey Challenge” has been issued to help raise food donations and individual sponsorships for more than 1,500 Thanksgiving food boxes for families and prepared holidays meals for homebound seniors and disabled adults.

The ministry is inviting area businesses, churches, schools and civic organizations to decorate a pumpkin into a turkey and use it to help promote a food drive or fundraiser for Good Samaritan’s Thanksgiving food distribution for approximately 3,000 individuals.

Prizes will go to the groups with the “best-dressed pumpkin” and those who collect the most food items and most monetary donations, including the placement of their names on all of Good Samaritan’s media platforms.

Thanksgiving food and monetary drives must be completed by Nov. 16 to allow the food to be packed and distributed in prior to the Nov. 22 holiday. Photos of decorated pumpkins may be emailed to the ministry at [email protected]

For those who wish to contribute directly, a $35 sponsorship will provide a frozen turkey and large food box containing all the makings of a holiday meal and enough supplemental food items to feed a family for several weeks, or a fully prepared turkey and all the trimmings to be delivered to the home of a senior or disabled adult.

Donations to Good Samaritan earmarked for Thanksgiving may be made online at goodsamjc.org or by mail to P.O. Box, 2441, Johnson City, TN 37605. Those who wish to volunteer in the distribution or in need of more information may call the ministry at 423-9281958.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee is on a very short deadline to fill holiday food boxes for 6,000 area homes included in its annual Project Thanksgiving. Conducted annually in partnership with WCQR radio, the regionwide Thanksgiving drive kicked off Nov. 1 and will wrap up on Friday, Nov. 9.

Volunteers will pack the food boxes Friday and Saturday at the food bank. And on Monday, the boxes will begin going out to community pantries across Northeast Tennessee that partner with Second Harvest in the fight against local hunger throughout the year.

Late Wednesday afternoon, the food bank was a little more than halfway to its goal of raising $25 sponsorships for each of the 6,000 food boxes and continuing to whittle away at the total $150,000 cost of the project. With two days remaining to collect donations, the food bank was a just over $74,000 away from the goal.

Hanging the balance are 70,000 residents of Northeast Tennessee who struggle to put food on their tables. With the community’s support for Project Thanksgiving, the upcoming holiday will be a time to enjoy a huge feast and not just another day of hunger.

For those who wish to help, a $25 sponsorship donation will provide a turkey, a variety of canned vegetables, a pumpkin pie and other ingredients for a traditional Thanksgiving meal, plus a few extra staples and treats for holiday. As it has for the 10-year history of Project Thanksgiving, WCQR will provide a Bible for every food box.

Donations to Project Thanksgiving may be made online at netfoodbank.org or by calling the food bank at 423-279-0430.

If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at 423-722-0538, [email protected] or P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605.

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