As Thanksgiving Season Approaches Local Food Cupboards Need Help Collecting Turkeys 

Every year, families in need all over Central Maine have counted on their local food banks to help make sure they don’t go without a turkey on Thanksgiving. “You never know how many people are going to have come in and we have 55-60 families that come in each month,” said Anne Hodgdon, from the St. John Food Pantry in Winslow. “But last Thanksgiving, we weren’t prepared and we had 167 families that showed up.”Keeping that tradition alive this year is proving to be more difficult than ever.For the first time, local food pantries won’t be able to purchase turkeys at their normal discounted rate, about 15 cents per pound. That leaves pantries on their own, without the funds to pay market price for turkeys. “Something’s gotta be done,” Hodgdon said.KVCAP and volunteers from food pantries all across Central Maine are teaming up to try to solve the potential turkey shortage. “They weren’t sure what they were going to do,” said Wanda Steward from KVCAP. “Maybe not even offer turkeys. Just do the baskets with the vegetables and stuffing. A lot of families just can’t afford it.”The prospect of any family having Thanksgiving without a turkey wasn’t an option they were willing to accept and the idea for the first “Turkey Round-up Fundraiser” was born.Next Saturday, October 6, at the Elm Plaza in Waterville, volunteers will be dressed like turkeys and selling raffle tickets for $5 apiece. They’ll also have a silent auction and all sorts of other activities. Their goal is to raise enough money to buy 700 turkeys. “It’s the first year but we’re hoping to that this is go to be an annual thing,” Steward said. “We’re just covering the local area this year, but we’re hoping next year to expand it. We may be able to cover Somerset County too.”The Turkey Round-up is next Saturday from 9:00-5:00 at the Elm Plaza in Waterville.For more information, or to make a donation, you can call Wanda Steward at KVCAP. That number is 859-1542