Parish House volunteers Mary Lou Fox and Georgiana Prickett prepare Thanksgiving boxes for community members who need them. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

Parish House offering Thanksgiving meal boxes through Nov. 22

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Parish House will continue distributions of Thanksgiving food boxes until Nov. 22.

Director of the Upshur County Parish House Kristi Wilkerson said the distributions began Nov. 13 and will continue Nov. 19 and 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“We do close Wednesday, Thursday, Friday of next week,” Wilkerson said. “We have full Thanksgiving meals with either apple pie or pumpkin pie filling, with turkey breasts, and we do have some ham available right now. There is a supply shortage that all the grocery stores are experiencing, so did not get all the turkey breasts that we ordered, but we’ve been able to get some of those from other suppliers, so we have plenty.”

Other items in the baskets included instant mashed potatoes, green beans, boxed stuffing, cranberry sauce, pie crust, pie filling and evaporated milk.

“We recommend they follow our normal guidelines which are USDA and TEFAP, the Emergency Food Assistance program, but if there’s a family in need, and they come and they tell us that they need some assistance having a traditional, healthy, complete Thanksgiving meal, we will give them a box,” Wilkerson said.

The Parish House has also started collecting items for Christmas meal baskets.

“We are collecting candied yams, corn, pork and beans, box stuffing again, cake mix and frosting,” Wilkerson said. “Frosting is always one of those things we have a hard time getting; it’s more than the cake mix costs, so I would encourage folks to bring us a tub of frosting if they’re looking for something and we will start distribution on Saturday, Dec. 11. from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. curbside.”

Distribution of Christmas meal boxes will take place Dec. 13-17 and a few more days in the next week from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wilkerson said the Paris House and has been assisting with holiday meals for some time now.

“Many years ago, I don’t know the exact date, but we’ve been doing this for quite a while,” Wilkerson said. “We have a lot of neighbors, and this is the only time we see them. Usually, they’re able to stretch their paycheck and they get what they need, but holiday meals are expensive, especially this year.”

The details of the Christmas Day dinner have not been worked out yet, but it is scheduled to return.

“We are we are planning to do that at Chapel Hill, on Christmas Day,” Wilkerson said. “Folks can go there, and it’ll be takeout again, but it’ll be a meal ready to go. Unfortunately, we can’t do the sit-down meal yet. We know a lot of folks like the fellowship and companionship, but we will make sure the meals will be there, so be on the lookout for more information on that.”

Additionally, the Parish House can always use funds for ham and turkeys, and they have seen an increasing need for their utility assistance program.

“Just watch our Facebook page because that’s where I put out what we need. Our food pantry is always low on grape jelly for some reason, and then recently, we’ve been a little bit low on toiletries, so shampoo, bar soap and deodorant – things like that,” Wilkerson said. “We are also seeing an increased need for utility assistance, and we know that’s only going to increase because water and electric and gas are all going up, so we know that will continue.”

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