Having a happier Thanksgiving

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Crestview Rotary Club and State Farm provided 150 Thanksgiving food bags, complete with turkeys, to the Holt Community Food Pantry to pass out to pantry patrons.

HOLT, Fla., Nov. 22, 2019–Holt Community Food Pantry patrons will have a happier Thanksgiving thanks to the generosity of the local community.

Once again, the Rotary Club of Crestview and Tiffany Woodham State Farm partnered on a Thanksgiving food drive to generate 150 dinner bags, complete with turkeys, for those who need a little extra help during the holiday.

Food2069Each meal bag included the ingredients for a complete Thanksgiving dinner.

Contents included two cans of green beans, cream of mushroom soup and crispy onions for the traditional green bean dish, instant mashed potatoes, stuffing mix, brown gravy mix, cranberry sauce, and piecrust with pumpkin pie filling. Each recipient also received a frozen turkey.

According to Woodham, each bag costs approximately $15 each. The cost of this drive was just under $2,300 for the 150 meals.

Turkeys4340The Rotary Club and State Farm purchased the turkeys from Winn Dixie, who cut them a deal at 49 cents a pound, according to Rotary Club member Samma Brannon.

“They worked with us to give us a price we can afford,” she said. “The only way we can do these bags for $15 is if retailers work with us.”

Woodham advertised the food drive on her State Farm Facebook page, letting people know that a $15 donation will buy one meal bag.

Generous donations came from everywhere.

“A man walked into the office and gave $100,” said Woodham. He walked out without giving his name.

As Brannon was filling her shopping cart with Thanksgiving meal food at Crestview’s Walmart, another man handed her $40 toward the meals, again without giving a name.

People from as far away as Belle Glade, Fla., donated to the drive, according to Woodham.

The distinctive blue bags were donated by Crestview Rehabilitation Center.

“Getting food for this time of year is of the utmost importance,” said pantry director Donna Ash. “This time of year, all food pantry organizations are under a lot of pressure to be able to feed those who need a little help.”

According to pantry co-director Jackie Tyler, almost all the food bags were handed out during the past two weeks with only a few left over.

The pantry, which is open on Wednesdays, will be closed next week for Thanksgiving.

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The Holt Community Food Pantry team, with Samma Brannon of Crestview Rotary, and Tiffany Woodham of State Farm.

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