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Help for the holidays needed

Thanksgiving meal volunteer opportunities plentiful in county 

Volunteers are needed to help pack and distribute 1,000 Thanksgiving meals to Monongalia County families.

There will be two opportunities to volunteer, said Servando Arredondo, engagement manager for United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties.

First, about 30 volunteers are needed to help pack non-perishable Thanksgiving staples, such as stuffing, gravy and canned goods, on Nov. 20, Arredondo said. The boxes will be packed from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Mylan Park Event Center. Volunteers must be able to lift 45 pounds and can only work a portion of the day if needed.

Then, on Nov. 24, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 30-50 volunteers are needed to deliver some of those 1,000 boxes, along with other essential Thanksgiving meal foods such as turkey and pumpkin pie.

The meals will not be cooked but will have everything needed for sides, a main course and dessert, Arredondo said.

He said the people with the means to pick up the meals will do so; the rest will be delivered. Volunteers must have a vehicle and driver’s license and can expect to make about 10 deliveries. That number could fluctuate depending on the number of volunteers.

The meals are possible thanks to a $750,000 grant to the United Way by the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust to be used for the nonprofit’s Helpful Harvest program.

Pantry Plus More is also a partner in the Thanksgiving meals program.

The charity worked with local schools to identify the families in need through school counselors, social workers and the Head Start program, President Roark Sizemore said.

Last year, Pantry Plus More handed out about 425 Thanksgiving meals and there was need for more — but the funding and capacity to do so were not.

To volunteer, visit

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