Community's help asked to help provide Thanksgiving mealsBy: Patty McAlpin, Reporter
The Salt Mine is hoping to provide Thanksgiving meals for 500 families in need this year with the community’s help.
Nov. 1 was the first day for families to sign up. Volunteer Coordinator Steve Frankovich said at least 50 applications were distributed.
The Salt Mine traditionally hands out boxes each year the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. This year, that date is Nov. 20.
“It’s a real blessing to get to do that,” Frankovich said.
Last year, The Salt Mine provided Thanksgiving meals for 280 families.
The Salt Mine Pastor Eric Long said because of the economy the need is greater this year.
“There are a lot more people coming through the door,” Eric Long said. “The needs continue to rise.”
The ministry provides hot meals and showers to help those who are hungry and/or homeless and food boxes for families in need.
In 2012, The Salt Mine is projecting to provide nearly 4 million meals to the hungry in the Lincoln and Sheridan communities. In 2009, the ministry provided 1 million meals. In 2010, the number was 2 million and in 2011, 3 million meals.
On average every month, 1,500 families pick up a box of food from The Salt Mine. Before 2009, the ministry provided boxes to 5 to 10 families a day. Now, they are providing food to 30 to 50 families each day. The food closet is open 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday through Friday at 590 Lincoln Blvd.
The Salt Mine relies on community donations and volunteers to provide services. Donors include Raley’s, Fresh & Easy, Safeway, Savemart and Walmart; local churches; community organizations such as the Kiwanis, Lyons and Rotary clubs; and community members at large. They also receive monetary donations from Friends of The Salt Mine.
The Salt Mine accepts food donations at its facility, located at 590 Lincoln Blvd. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
“We appreciate our “army of volunteers” who help every day at The Salt Mine,” ministry staff said. There are 60 active volunteers. They welcome more.
Volunteers help build food boxes, pick up food at grocery stores and mop the floors. Anyone interested can email administrator Blake Long at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (916) 645-3778.
The Thanksgiving food box includes everything a family will need to prepare the meal all the way down to the butter, Frankovich said.
Blake Long said the cost to provide a Thanksgiving meal box is $50 to $75 depending on the size of the family. If the box is for a larger family, the cost is higher.
Items needed for the Thanksgiving box include turkeys, hams, turkey gravy, margarine, corn, green beans, stuffing, jellied cranberries, cash for perishable items like potatoes, pumpkin pies, rolls, Jell-O, yams and foil roasting pans.
Lincoln Hills Community Church Pastor Mike Bradaric dropped off a $1,000 donation from his congregation to go toward the purchase of turkeys. The church is also donating 500 copies of The Jesus Film.
“Jesus said to feed the hungry and clothe those who are homeless,” Bradaric said. “We are fortunate to have a place to live. The more we are given, the more responsible we are to be good stewards.”
Local Realtors from Century 21 Select will be in front of Raley’s from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 17 collecting food.
Gene Thorpe of Century 21 Select will be among those accepting donations outside the store.
“This is an excellent experience for all of us,” Thorpe said. “It’s very satisfying.”
Raley’s in Lincoln also is conducting its annual holiday bag drive.
Food for Families holiday bag drive takes place from Nov. 7 through Dec. 31. During that time, customers can donate a bag of food for $10 to Food for Families and Raley’s will double their give, providing more than $20 worth of food.
Lighthouse also providing meals
Lighthouse Counseling and Family Resource Center is requesting $50 gift cards to Safeway to help provide a “nice meal at Thanksgiving.”
Office Manager Stephanie Lombardi said the Lighthouse just started accepting applications from families.
Donations are accepted from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Lighthouse, 427 A St., Ste. 400, Lincoln, CA.