Group giving a feast of thanks
by Liz Marino
lmarino@mdjonline.com
November 19, 2012 12:34 AM | 1735 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Douglas — Hunger and loneliness seems to draw the attention of the community more prominently during the holiday season, and this year is no exception.

A number of churches, schools, communities and businesses have joined hands to make sure that those in need will enjoy the holiday bounty reflected in a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

The Pantry, a mission of Frank and Pam Smith, has been operating in Douglasville since 2007.

During this first year of operation, The Pantry served eight families. Today, the food ministry serves 10,000 families each year, according to Smith.

The ministry will be distributing 500 turkeys with all the trimmings to registered families on Nov. 20, he said.

This, said Smith, is due to a “great base of volunteers and corporate sponsors” from the community.

The Pantry has partnered with Crossroads Church, who will be preparing and home delivering meals to 1,000 people. Atlanta Revival Center will be providing Thanksgiving baskets to an additional 75 people.

“We are glad to be able to help families in need,” said Smith.

Financial assistance is always needed to support the food ministry, said Smith.

“It costs $25 per family to provide the Thanksgiving meals,” he said.

The Pantry is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon, except on the fifth Saturday of the month.

Food donations are accepted from 8:30 to 11 a.m.

“We never turn anyone away,” said Smith.

The Pantry is one of several ministries under Lifetools Development Corporation, a nonprofit 501(c)3 which includes Faith in Action and The Care Place, a free medical and dental clinic to be opening sometime in 2013.

Information: To donate or volunteer, visit www.thepantrydc.com.

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A Gift of Love, the mission begun 17 years ago by Juanita Clay in Douglasville, is focusing on families with children who receive weekend meals sent home in the child’s backpack each week.

The backpack ministry provides weekend meals for 439 children in Douglas County schools who depend on school breakfast and lunches, and might not eat during the weekend and extended school breaks without food sent home each Friday.

During extended breaks, such as fall break in October, Thanksgiving week and during the longer Christmas holiday, A Gift of Love provides enough food to sustain the families of these children, said Clay.

“We will be serving 142 families with 550 children in the household when they are out of school,” she said.

In addition to the weekend food and Thanksgiving programs, A Gift of Love is also seeking sponsors to provide Christmas and a back-to-school programs. Donations are always needed.

Information: www.agiftofloveservices.org or call (770) 947-8200.

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Dallas First United Methodist Church will once again host the 10th annual Paulding Thanksgiving Meal on November 21.

Thanksgiving dinner will be served in the church’s Family Life Center from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., according to organizer David Holt.

Meals featuring turkey, ham and all of the trimmings will be served to an estimated 200 people, many who attend year after year.

A total of 750 to 1,000 people will be served either at the church or by deliveries, said Holt.

Some 85 to 90 percent of meals will be delivered out into the Paulding County community.

“We will deliver both Wednesday and Thursday if anyone has need of a meal,” Holt added.

Delivery orders should be placed by November 20 by calling (770) 445-2509 or email at dallasfirstumc.org.

In addition, Dallas First UMC will be partnering with Stop Hunger Now for the third year to package 10,000 meals that day, said Associate Pastor Chris Pavlovsky.

“They collect them and ours have gone to orphanages in Africa,” said Pavlovsky. “They also go to places domestically in the United States.”

One package of food will feed six people, he said.

Some 125 to 150 volunteers will be needed for both the Thanksgiving and Stop Hunger Now programs.

“It is neat to see everyone come together,” said Pavolvsky. “The spirit of Thanksgiving is really alive!”

Information: call Dallas First UMC at (770) 445-2509 or visit www.dallasfirstumc.org
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