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November 27, 2013

OUR VIEW: Volunteers, we're thankful for you

For many of us, we’ll sit down at the Thanksgiving table Thursday surrounded by lots of family and even more food.

For most, our eyes will be bigger than our stomachs and we’ll pay for it later. But it will be a bearable price to pay since we’ll just be lounging on the couch watching football or chatting up family members.

But for many in our community, the holiday will play out much differently. For those less fortunate, there’s no extra money to buy the makings of a feast. Heck, most days there isn’t money to put a basic meal on the table because they’re barely making ends meet as it is.

The epidemic at play is called food insecurity. That’s just a fancy way of saying they don’t know where their next meal will come from. Most of us can’t imagine not knowing when we’ll be able to eat next. More likely, in fact, we’re just unsure of which restaurant to visit for lunch.

Volunteers and donors come to the rescue every day for those in need in our community. These people give up their free time to collect food and distribute it at area food pantries. And if that wasn’t enough, they give up their holiday every year to help those in need.

Instead of sitting at home napping off a giant serving of turkey, these community warriors will be cooking meals for hundreds of people. At River of Life Christian Church, for example, volunteers have already begun preparing a massive feast that will include close to 30 turkeys. They expect to feed up to 800 people. They’ve been doing this for 45 years.

Such a feat is only possible through the donations and efforts of local grocery stores, businesses and members of River of Life’s congregation and other congregations, Pastor Keith Kincaid told us this week. The partnership allows everyone involved to appreciate the community that made it possible, which he said is the motivation behind the tradition that’s lasted nearly half a century.

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