Thursday, November 21 was a busy night at the Afton Food Pantry. Community volunteers from across the valley gathered to pack and deliver Thanksgiving dinners to area families in need.
“We delivered 131 Thanksgiving Dinners to families from Cokeville to Alpine,” said Sierra Mitchell of the Afton Food Pantry. “It was a community effort and we had a bunch of different groups involved.”
Volunteers included the Star Valley High School Football Team, food pantry board members, area families, local clergy, students and business owners.
The Thanksgiving Dinner boxes included a turkey, frozen pie, sparkling cider, potatoes, gravy mix, cranberry sauce, a cake mix, green beans, jello, a box of stuffing, pumpkin pie filling and the ingredients to make a pumpkin pie.
Milk, sweet potatoes and eggs were also given out.
“Our football players carried out 421 bags of groceries that night,” said Mitchell, commenting that it was fun to have the student athletes volunteering at the food pantry after their state championship win. “It was a big job and we were glad they were their to help us.”
According to Mitchell, the Thanksgiving Dinner project shows what can happen when various agencies and groups work together.
“The holidays are a special time,” she said. “We don’t want anyone without a holiday dinner. We want everyone to have the same chance to share a meal with their family and friends, the same kind of meal that everyone else is having.”
Now, the focus shifts to Christmas Dinner Boxes, Mitchell said.
“We have people working on decorating ornaments and getting stockings ready,” said Mitchell. “We include ornaments and stockings for children and the elderly in our Christmas boxes. We are planning on preparing 200 Christmas boxes this year. Last year we gave out 204.”
Local food banks are accepting donations of holiday food items, Christmas candy and stocking stuffers, Mitchell said.
“There are lots of ways you can help out if you or your family would like to,” she said. “Just give me a call.”
The Afton Food Pantry phone number is (307) 887-3663.
The Thayne Food Bank phone number is (307) 880-3663.
Christmas baskets in Alpine are under the direction of the American Legion Auxiliary. Contact Melody Rosenwinkel at (307) 654-3629 for information on how to help with the project.