Area food banks gearing up for big Thanksgiving
by Erin Dentmon
November 14, 2012 12:00 AM | 2398 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MUST Ministries volunteers Rick Laboda of Woodstock, left, and Suzanne Taulli prepare dinners for the 1,000 families that will receive food during the week of Thanksgiving.<br>Staff/Samantha M. Shal
MUST Ministries volunteers Rick Laboda of Woodstock, left, and Suzanne Taulli prepare dinners for the 1,000 families that will receive food during the week of Thanksgiving.
Staff/Samantha M. Shal
For most people, Thanksgiving is a holiday strongly associated with food — turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, to name a few favorites.

Papa’s Pantry in Woodstock and Cherokee MUST Ministries in Canton are working to make sure families in need are able to enjoy a holiday feast of their own next Thursday.

Lynne Saunders, founder of Papa’s Pantry, said the food pantry will put together customized Thanksgiving meals for about 25 families, in addition to providing for emergency needs for food pantry visitors.

“We will have quite a lot of food come out of this place next week,” she said.

The families receiving customized meals are those actively participating in stability training through Papa’s Pantry, including classes on budgeting and employment.

“Every year we customize their family meals to resemble their traditions,” Saunders said.

Jenny Homan, Holiday Coordinator for MUST Ministries, said the organization is preparing to give baskets with the fixin’s for holiday meals to about 1,000 people in Cherokee County. Items still needed include gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and cornbread muffin mix. Anything donated that is not used for the Thanksgiving meals will be used to stock MUST’s food pantry.

Sign-ups at MUST to receive a Thanksgiving basket continue through this week. No proof of income is needed, but proof of Cherokee County residency and identification are required.

Supplies are also low for emergency needs at Papa’s Pantry, Saunders said.

“We were out of peanut butter last week. We had one box of cereal,” Saunders said. Need is particularly high for instant potatoes, which will be used for Thanksgiving meals and emergency distribution.

Both organizations are accepting monetary donations and donations of grocery gift cards.

“Those go toward purchasing the turkeys or other things that have not been donated,” Homan said.

Saunders said her organization purchases perishable foods for families in stability training year-round, so financial gifts are always needed to purchase those items.

To contact MUST Ministries’ Canton center, call (770) 479-5397.

Papa’s Pantry can be reached at 770-591-4730.
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