The First United Methodist Church, 522 White Ave., isn’t letting the COVID-19 pandemic prevent it from raising money and food for the community this Thanksgiving.
On Nov. 22, the church will be accepting turkey, ham and financial donations from its congregation and the public to help the Community Food Bank, 562 W Crete Cir. No. 102, provide meals for families in need. This one will look a little different, though.
“We’ll have a drive thru on Sunday where people can drop off their donations while feeling safe from the virus,” said Donna Jennings, chair person of the church’s mission and outreach committee. “All of these donations will help the food bank make its Thanksgiving boxes.”
The boxes usually consist of festive food such as cranberry sauce, canned pumpkins and canned yams. The Food Bank does its best to provide a ham and turkey through donations such as the church’s.
First United and the Food Bank have worked together on this fundraiser for years. For Alisha Wenger, executive director of the Community Food Bank, the donations are vital in order to provide help for people struggling.
“This year is especially difficult, as we all know, and the holidays are stressful when you’re struggling,” Wenger said. “Our goal is to lighten the burden, and we’ve seen a high volume of need this year. We want those struggling to know that we’re here for them.”
The church will only accept donations on Nov. 22 so that the food stays fresh and there’s enough time to assemble the boxes by Thanksgiving. First United has been hit hard by the pandemic, only doing a 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. in-person service and going virtual otherwise. Donations will be accepted at both masses, and there will be a drive-thru drop off between 2 p.m and 6 p.m. The church’s youth group will volunteer at the event.
COVID-19 has forced people to adapt their lives and for good reason, Jennings said. Because of that, the church wanted to ensure that it would be there for the community when it needs help most.
Wenger implored the community to find a way to donate a turkey, ham or whatever they can afford to stuff the boxes. Any little bit helps, she said.
Anyone wanting to learn more information or help in any way they can is encouraged to call Jennings at 970-261-4270.
“We recognize its not safe to go to public events for everyone so this is a way everyone can safely help,” she said. “Thank you to the community because Grand Junction is one of the best and most compassionate places to live in.”