Turkey Donation

Monserrat Morales, right, food bank office manager, and Nisqually Valley News staff unload turkeys Tuesday morning that were donated for families in need by advertisers of the newspaper.

In an annual Thanksgiving tradition, 30 turkeys — paid for by 30 local businesses — were delivered to Yelm Community Services for families in need.

Members of the Nisqually Valley News picked up the turkeys Tuesday morning from Wal-Mart. Monserrat Morales, food bank office manager, greeted the NVN staff and showed them where to deliver each bird. Not only does the turkey make a family’s holiday more festive, the tryptophan-induced poultry will make it easier to sleep.

The donation is made possible by advertisers of the NVN. For each ad sold into a series of holiday special sections, a turkey is donated to the food bank.

“We want to thank all our customers who participated this year,” said NVN Publisher Michael Wagar. “It just feels good to give during this time of the year.”

Turkey — along with potatoes, bread, onions, pastries and drinks — will be distributed 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 26 at the food bank, 624 Crystal Springs Road N.W. If available, meat and dairy products will also be given for the four-day holiday weekend.

Morales, who has worked at YCS since 1999, said up to 500 families will likely attend Tuesday’s giveaway. And even though it’s supposed to close at 4 p.m., the food bank will likely run 30 minutes late because of high demand.

“It means a lot,” Morales said of the community’s generosity. “It means 30 families will actually have a turkey this holiday season, and we’ll be able to give them more meaning to Thanksgiving. So it’s awesome, it’s great.”

When people attend the food bank next Tuesday, once they show proof that they live within the area, whatever food is needed and has been donated will be provided. Many of the families who receive food are known to the food bank, which has a staff of four along with six volunteers, Morales said.

Family sizes vary, some being six-plus members, yet most have three or four people. Seniors are also assisted, who normally get served first due to the weather, Morales said.

YCS provides food 1-4 p.m. each Thursday, during which time up to 50 people normally attend. Each weekly donation is important, but when it comes to the holidays and 30 turkeys being provided, it becomes even more special.

“It is meaningful to us to be able to help all of these families try to get through the holidays with something on their tables,” Morales said. “Not just a regular meal, but something that is considered more family-oriented. It means a lot, definitely.”

And while “only” 30 turkeys were donated this week, those who receive it will be more than gracious.

“We have a lot of families that even break out in tears because they didn’t have much for an actual Thanksgiving meal,” she said. “All the families that come through our food bank are very, very grateful for what we give them — especially in the holiday season.”

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