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Prepping for Turkey Day

Volunteers pack boxes of dinner for Thanksgiving

On Friday, volunteers at the Mylan Park Event Center packed 1,000 boxes with non-perishable Thanksgiving meal staples in record time.

“I’ll tell you, this epitomizes what is so great about Monongalia County and the citizens,” Mon County Commissioner Tom Bloom said. “This is Thanksgiving in Monongalia County. We have all these different groups from Preston County Workshop, United Way, Pantry Plus More, Mountaineer Foodbank, all coming together.”

Around 50 volunteers, including groups from First Energy, Cheat Lake Rotary and the Latter Day Saints, showed up on time, Bloom said.

Many of the volunteers were experienced packers and help with regular food distributions or helped over the summer, president of Pantry Plus More Roark Sizemore said.

The packing was scheduled to last until 4:30 p.m., but was finished by noon.

The boxes will be combined with perishable goods that will be delivered next week and then handed out or delivered to families in Monongalia County as identified by Pantry Plus More through Monongalia County Schools.

The packages will include everything needed for sides, a main course — including a 17-22 lb. turkey — and dessert, according to Servando Arredondo, engagement manager for United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties.

Each box contains not just traditional thanksgiving fare such as canned yams, but the ingredients needed to turn it into a dish — like brown sugar and a bag of marshmallows to put on top.

Families will even receive a disposable roasting pan in which to cook the turkey.

The food was purchased thanks to a grant from Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust to United Way to help fight food insecurity.

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