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Turkey baskets make Thanksgiving special for Gilchrist families

Bright and early Monday morning the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office volunteers were out in full force filling trunks with all the food needed for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. A steady stream of automobiles pulled by the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s office firing range facility while volunteers such as Liam Brown loaded a frozen turkey into their trunks. Liam has been helping out now for many years.

Ron Mills who helps organize the event said, “We expect to give away right about 200 meals before the day is done.” He also reported that his group has been preregistering people for a month now. They visited the food bank in Trenton and Spring Ridge, as well as the Senior Center in Trenton to sign up people. He said that this year they also reached out to the county schools and guidance counselors gave them a list of families they thought might need a Thanksgiving basket this year.

Mills said some 670 people are expected to have Thanksgiving dinner because of the drive. Several families that have 12 family members will receive two complete baskets of food.

The good folks from the Trenton Food Pantry were also on hand helping out with the giveaway. In fact, Mills said that any leftover food items will be donated to the Trenton Food Pantry. He reported that all the food is given away to Gilchrist County families only.

This county wide effort started back in 1997 with only about 20 to 30 Thanksgiving baskets given away that first year.