CHAMPAIGN — Stone Creek Church is seeking the local community's help filling up 500 Thanksgiving dinner baskets for needy families.
The church at 2502 S. Race St., U, will hold a food and coupon drive from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday to help fill up baskets with items for Thanksgiving dinner.
This year, the church's food pantry is hoping to fill up and distribute 100 more baskets than last year's, because it's seeing an even greater need for help this year, according to food pantry director Angela Bradley.
"We just see it," she said. "We're kind of getting them from all over. It's just hard to raise kids and make ends meet."
And what this church and its members don't want, she says, is to see a family going without a Thanksgiving dinner this year.
The food baskets will be distributed from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 21 at the church on a first-come, first-served basis. And for families waiting in line, there will be snacks and entertainment, Bradley said.
All too often, getting help is a "cold" experience, she said.
"We just want this to be a warm, good experience," she added.
Foods being sought for donation include such items as canned green beans, pumpkin and cranberry sauce, packages of gravy, boxes of stuffing mix, turkeys, turkey cooking bags and foil disposable pans. Money to buy food the supplies and coupon sections to help get discounts on these items are also needed, Bradley said.
For the collection drive Sunday, she said, there will be boxes near the church doors for donations.
For those who can't make it Sunday, the church is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays to accept donations.
The church won't be selecting any families to receive these baskets, so it can also use everyone's assistance in getting the word out that they're available.
"If people know families that need help, please get the word out," Bradley said.