An annual effort begins between several Hunt County agencies, with the goal of providing services to families in need in the community during the holiday season.
But the Hunt Gives County Food Drive is gearing up to meet an unprecedented demand for its services, even though the resources it has drawn on in the past to help the campaign have less to offer.
Hunt County Shared Ministries / FISH executive director Wally Jeffers explained that the North Texas Food Bank said the agency would only be able to supply 220 turkeys this year.
“I think we’re going to need 3,000 turkeys by the time it’s all said and done,” Jeffers said.
FISH works alongside the Commerce and Wolfe City Pantry to provide Thanksgiving and Christmas assistance through Hunt County Gives.
Jeffers said the effort is going to be even more difficult than usual this year, as agencies are already pushed to the wall due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to an increase in the number of families at the seeking help. He said Hunt Gives County was quietly offering residents the option to sign up for a few weeks, although the official start of the campaign began on Friday and runs through October 29.
Each family that signs up will receive a turkey for Thanksgiving and also for Christmas, as well as an assortment of accompanying food items.
“The turkeys are going to be tough for us this year,” Jeffers said. Fewer birds are available due to the pandemic, although more families are expected to register for meals on the two holidays.
“I anticipate we’ll be serving up to 1,300 people each time,” Jeffers said, adding that this did not include FISH offering turkeys for “Feed The Hungry” dinners at Clark Street Christian Church in Greenville. .
Current Hunt County Shared Ministries customers need only complete a Hunt County Gives Campaign Registration Card. New customers will need to make a case file with the pantry or complete a vacation basket request, along with ID, Hunt County Gives registration card, SNAP letter, and copy of their utility bill.
A confirmation card will be mailed to each eligible household with an assigned location to pick up their Thanksgiving basket. A separate card will be mailed for Christmas, provided the customer has collected their Thanksgiving basket. If customers sign up for a Thanksgiving basket, but don’t pick it up, they will be removed from the list for a Christmas basket.
The distribution of the baskets will take place on November 20 for Thanksgiving and December 18 for Christmas.
Volunteers will be needed to pack the Thanksgiving boxes from November 16-18 and for Christmas from December 14-16.
Jeffers said FISH would definitely need donations from the public this holiday season to help meet the needs.
Donations are available online by credit card, PayPal, or Venmo at the agency’s website, www.hcsmfish.org, can be mailed to Hunt County Shared Ministries, PO Box 124, Greenville, Texas 75403 or can be organized by calling the agency at 903-455-0545 or [email protected]