Weld Food Bank asking for turkey donations with Thanksgiving so close | MyWindsorNow.com

Weld Food Bank asking for turkey donations with Thanksgiving so close

James Redmond
jredmond@mywindsornow.com

The Weld Food Bank desperately needs turkeys — and fast — because Thanksgiving is just a few days away.

Last year, more than 4,500 families got the chance to enjoy a special holiday meal because Weld County residents generously donated turkeys, canned cranberries, stuffing, green beans and cream of mushroom soup to the Weld Food Bank.

This year, Weld Food Bank and the agencies they partner with — 90 in total, including food pantries, soup kitchens and more — need 4,862 turkeys and all the fixings. But the food bank only has about 1,200 of the frozen birds on hand on Tuesday.

"Times are tough," said Weld Food Bank communications manager Weston Edmunds. "My favorite part of the holidays is to be able to sit down around the Thanksgiving table and talk about all the things I'm thankful for with my family. To be able to provide that for other people, to have that same experience, means everything. When people do give a lot of the time they're just saying 'I want people to be able to have a holiday meal like me.' "

This year, like the year before, brought an increased number of requests for turkeys and holiday meals to the Weld Food Bank. Throughout the year, food bank officials experienced the largest increase in requests for emergency help since the recession, he said. So it made sense the numbers of holiday meal requests would go up, too.

Some of the families waiting and hoping to receive a turkey this year live in poverty or don't have a place to call home. Many live paycheck-to-paycheck in households that technically stay above the poverty line, but make so little money they have to make hard choices like heat or food, he said.

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"We find that 71 percent of the people who come into the food bank seeking emergency help are either employed, retired or disabled," Edmunds said. "There's a big misconception that we're working with the homeless. That is one population we work with, but we're actually working with what has been defined as the 'working poor.' "

Weld Food Bank wants to ensure those families can enjoy a holiday meal, too, but they need help from the community in the form of donated frozen turkeys and fixings — this year they especially need canned cranberries and stuffing. The food bank has a small staff trying to help out a lot of families in a large county.

"Without the support of donors and volunteers and advocates … We can't do this properly," Edmunds said. "That's why we're making this plea."

How to donate to Weld Food Bank

Frozen turkeys can be dropped off at the Weld Food Bank warehouse from 8 a.m. To 5 p.m. Monday-Friday at 1108 H St. in Greeley.