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YHS Food Pantry gives away 100 Thanksgiving meals

The Inter-Mountain photo by Brad Johnson Giving away 100 turkeys and Thanksgiving baskets through the Youth Health Services Food Pantry this week were, from left, Ross Brown, Jennifer ‘J.J.’ Johnson, Allison Stewart, Victoria Stewart, Kristy Kline and Ezra Stewart.

ELKINS — The Youth Health Services Food Pantry lent a helping hand to 100 local families by giving away turkeys and Thanksgiving baskets this week.

A total of 100 turkeys and dinner baskets were given away by YHS food pantry officials and volunteers Monday at U-Haul Moving & Storage of Elkins in the Valley Pointe Shopping Center.

The 100 recipients were chosen randomly by computer from the 550 families in Randolph County registered with the food pantry, officials said.

“The meal includes a 15-pound turkey, with all the sides, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cans of vegetables, rice, beans and a cold box with eggs, cheese and meat,” said Kristy Kline, the center’s family resource specialist. Boxes of coffee were also available for families with coffee drinkers.

This was the first year for the YHS Food Pantry Thanksgiving giveaway event.

“We did a smaller one last year but this year we’ve been able to help more folks,” said Jennifer “J.J.” Johnson, the director of the Home Ties Strengthening Families Center at YHS.

In December the food pantry will be giving out Christmas dinners at a date yet to be determined. Once again, the recipients will be chosen randomly from the 550 registered families.

“If people are randomly selected to receive a Christmas dinner, they will receive a phone call giving them the instructions on when and where they can pick it up,” Johnson said.

The Thanksgiving giveaway was aided by donations from local businesses and agencies.

“We want to thank U-Haul, Elkins Shop ‘n Save and World Vision in Philippi. All three companies helped out with the event,” Johnson said.

Aiding Kline and Johnson Monday during the giveaway were Victoria Stewart, an Americorps Vista who works with the Home Ties Strengthening Families Center, and volunteers Ezra Stewart, Allison Stewart and Ross Brown.

For more information, call the food pantry at 304-636-9450.

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