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Help Upshur Parish House fill Thanksgiving baskets by picking up holiday staples at the grocery store

BUCKHANNON – During the holiday season, many neighbors will be facing food insecurities – especially this year – so the Upshur Parish House and Crosslines, Inc. is asking for your help to gather items needed for their Thanksgiving and Christmas basket distributions.

When placing your order for pickup or while shopping in the grocery store, why not add a few items to help fellow neighbors who are in need this holiday season?

Upshur Cooperative Parish House and Crosslines Director Kristi L. Wilkerson said the annual Thanksgiving basket distribution will begin on Saturday, Nov. 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will subsequently continue the following week, Nov. 16-20, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.

“Having a Saturday distribution is new this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Wilkerson said. “Because of safety reasons due to the pandemic, the Parish House continues to be closed to foot traffic and visitors.”

Wilkerson said during the Thanksgiving Basket distribution, Parish House volunteers will bring each basket of food items outside to give to families requesting help.

She said during the Thanksgiving Basket distribution, on Saturday, Nov. 14 and Monday, Nov. 16, there will be no regular monthly food packages or utility bill assistance on those two days. Since there will be a Saturday Thanksgiving distribution day, there will be no evening Thanksgiving Basket distribution hours this year.

Families who are planning on picking up their basket on Saturday, Nov. 14, need to look for signs on College Avenue indicating how to receive their items.

“Staff and volunteers will direct vehicles to help with the flow of traffic,” Wilkerson said. “On all other days, those needing a Thanksgiving Basket are asked to call the Parish House the morning of their pick-up at 304-472-0743. As this is a new process because of COVID-19, we ask for your patience as we do our best to serve all our Upshur County neighbors in need.”

Wilkerson said it would be best if families and individuals who would like to request a Thanksgiving Basket pick up a form ahead of their distribution days, complete the form and bring it back on the day the Thanksgiving Basket is picked up.

“Neighbors may call or knock on the front door of the Parish House, located at 68 College Avenue in Buckhannon, during normal business hours of Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.,” Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson said she wanted to express her gratitude in advance to anyone who plans to assist by donating items. This year, the Parish House is anticipating they will be serving about 700 families for Thanksgiving.

Items needed include:

  • 1,200 cans of green beans
  • 700 cans of pumpkin pie filling
  • 700 boxes of pie crust mix, such as Jiffy
  • 400 boxes/packages of stuffing
  • 700 cans/packets of gravy

“We will also need a handful of cans of fruit pie filling, cranberry sauce and instant mashed potatoes,” Wilkerson said. “We invite any interested individuals, churches or civic organizations to donate any of the above items and drop them off at the Parish House by Nov. 12,” Wilkerson said. “To deliver items after regular hours, please call 304-472-0743 to set up a time to drop off items.”

The Parish House also distributes Christmas Meal Baskets, and they are beginning to collect items to fulfill that need as well. Wilkerson said they are looking for 1,200 cans of yams, 1,000 cans of corn, 600 boxed cake mixes and 600 tubs of cake frosting, along with a handful of boxes/bags of instant mashed potatoes.

“Other items that are in need at our food pantry include jars of grape jelly, size 4, 5 and 6 diapers and Pull-Ups, kid-friendly foods such as Spaghetti-Os and ravioli, macaroni and cheese, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, feminine hygiene items, dish soap, powdered laundry detergent and toilet tissue,” Wilkerson said.

“We are truly grateful for the tremendous amount of support we have received throughout the pandemic from our community,” she said. “Please note that we will be closed in observance of Thanksgiving the week of Nov. 23 to 27, 2020.”

Up-to-date information and announcements are available on Facebook at Upshur Cooperative Parish: Parish House and Crosslines Inc.

In 2020, Thanksgiving falls on Thursday, Nov. 26, and Christmas will be celebrated on Friday, Dec. 25

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