JAY — “I am just thankful to be able to give back where I can,” said Al Beave of Jay as he checked over the contents of a box filled with Thanksgiving essentials.
Beave was one of nearly 40 volunteers who gathered Sunday, Nov. 18 at Tri-Town Ministerial Association Food Cupboard. The group formed an assembly line and filled boxes with vegetables, stuffing, gravy, pie fixings, fresh rolls, apples and more.
Turkeys, butter and milk would be added before being distributed to area individuals and families. The boxes assist in making sure local residents have a filling Thanksgiving meal, even if they are having financial difficulties.
“I am disabled and on social security,” said Beave. “I am a receiver of one of these boxes. I am doing what I can to give back.”
Eric Tompkins has organized the box packing for the last 5 years. He said the 220 boxes represented Thanksgiving for 700 individuals.
“Some boxes are designated for single person households and some for larger families,” he explained.
The effort is one of community involvement. Tompkins said donations come from local companies, churches, organizations and individuals. Livermore Falls Baking Company donated rolls and Berry Fruit Farm donated bags of apples. What is not donated, is purchased in local stores, he said.
“The number of volunteers has remained pretty consistent,” Tompkins said. “Most are members of local church groups.”
He said the number of boxes distributed has also remained pretty consistent throughout his involvement with the program.
“Spruce Mountain High School sends about 15 students to help carry out boxes when people come by for pick up. It’s a full-service operation,” said Tompkins.
Distribution was scheduled for Monday, Nov. 19.