HOPE readies its Thanksgiving supplies

ADDISON COUNTY — Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects (HOPE) will give out Thanksgiving meal provisions this month to around 400 Addison County low-income families who might otherwise not enjoy a feast on turkey day.
Jeanne Montross, executive director of HOPE, said this week her organization is still accepting donations of such products as small turkeys, fresh apples, stuffing and instant mashed potatoes for the Thanksgiving food boxes it will hand out.
HOPE has purchased a hefty stockpile of turkeys to ensure each box is anchored by a bird. The boxes also include such staples as cranberry sauce; instant gravy; fresh potatoes; canned green beans, frozen corn or fresh carrots; winter squash or sweet potatoes; parsnips or turnips; onions; canned pumpkin for pies; eggs; pie spices; and coffee.
Recipients will also be given recipes to help them prepare their turkey dinners with the trimmings.
Eligible families can now pick up their turkey boxes from HOPE’s Middlebury offices at 282 Boardman St. Boxes will be available until the day before Thanksgiving. Qualifying households cannot earn more than 185 percent of the federal poverty guideline, which is $44,000 per year for a family of four. Those who want a turkey box or would like to help assemble the food supplies may contact HOPE at 388-3608.
Thanks to some additional financial support from Shea Motors, HOPE will also have some pre-cooked turkey meals to deliver to shut-ins and/or those unable to cook for themselves. HOPE is looking for some help in delivering those meals on Thanksgiving.
Montross hopes to have enough meal supplies to meet demand. With that in mind, the organization will also try to steer some folks to community Thanksgiving meals sponsored by local civic groups in their areas.
For example, the Eagles Club in Vergennes will host its traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, Nov. 27, at its headquarters at 67 New Haven Road. It is a meal open to everyone in the area who would otherwise be spending the day home alone.
The organization will also deliver complete meals at 11 a.m. to shut-ins in the Vergennes area only.
Those interested in reserving a seat at the Eagles dinner or having a meal delivered may call 877-2055 after 3 p.m. or write to the Eagles at 67 New Haven Road, Vergennes, VT 05491, before Nov. 25.
Looking ahead, HOPE officials are also looking at offering some turkey boxes this Christmas. Montross said the organization is assessing its resources to determine how many boxed meals might be offered.
In other HOPE-related news, the organization is looking for folks who might be able to work some volunteer shifts at its new holiday shop within the Boardman Street building. The shop is open on weekdays and features donated gifts, clothing and books for low-income households who otherwise could not afford to buy any for their children. The available shifts include 8 to 11 a.m., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 1 to 3 p.m.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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