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Volunteers needed as Salvation Army, Community Market plan Thanksgiving food delivery

New collaboration makes more baskets available, but more labor also required

Bags of nonperishables await the volunteers who delivered them to families or community members facing food insecurity during the Thanksgiving holiday. This year, fresh produce will be included in the bundles, requiring more volunteer help.
Salvation Army/Courtesy photo

The Salvation Army and the Community Market have joined forces this year for a massive Thanksgiving meal delivery.

But in combining efforts to make more food available, more volunteer help will also be required.

Tsu Wolin-Brown with the Salvation Army Vail, on Monday, said volunteer service will be needed every day this week starting Wednesday evening to ready for the main event — the delivery itself — on Saturday.



“We have a huge truck coming from Feed The Children on Wednesday at 4 p.m.,” Wolin-Brown. “For that, we will need strong people to help us unload and organize. We will be unloading 800 boxes into Avon Elementary School, and we think it will take about 2-3 hours.”

HOW YOU CAN CAN VOLUNTEER

Wednesday evening sign-up for unloading at Avon Elementary: SignUpGenius.com/go/9040e45a9a7283-food

Thursday-Friday daytime volunteers for sorting, bagging: Email anne@eaglevalleycf.org or call 970-328-7900

Friday evening volunteers for moving boxes: SignUpGenius.com/go/9040E45A9A7283-friday1

Saturday volunteers for food delivery: SignUpGenius.com/go/9040E45A9A7283-food1

Then comes the sorting and bagging process, which will begin on Thursday, said Anne Redden with the Community Market.



“We’ll have thousands of pounds of vegetables to go through,” she said.

That portion of the process will take place at the former Edwards Liquors location on Edwards Access Road, starting Thursday and continuing Friday. Available volunteers should contact Redden at anne@eaglecf.org if available during daytime hours Thursday or Friday.

But volunteers will also be needed in the evening Friday, Wolin-Brown said, as the Salvation Army plans to then move the boxes into locations for distribution.

“On Friday night, we will need another strong team for about two hours,” Wolin-Brown said.

Finally, on Saturday, teams will deliver food throughout the valley. Wolin-Brown said volunteers can bring their friends or family and will be encouraged to take as many as they would like to deliver.

“We’re planning on serving up to 800 households with Thanksgiving food baskets,” Wolin-Brown said. “So it could be our biggest Thanksgiving food delivery ever.”

New partnership

The Vail Valley Salvation Army has been delivering Thanksgiving food baskets to local families since 1983. Wolin-Brown said they will deliver more than 400 baskets in a typical year.

Last year, instead of delivering the baskets, the Salvation Army offered a drive-up service. It made the situation a bit more visible, and with the rise in food insecurity that came with COVID-19, Wolin-Brown said new partnerships emerged, and new donors came forward.

In addition to finding a donor for the food truck delivery for Feed The Children, the partnership with the Community Market emerged for this year.

“That’s where people will receive all the fresh produce for the Thanksgiving baskets,” Wolin-Brown said.

Firefighters assist with a Vail Valley Salvation Army food delivery effort. This year’s Thanksgiving food delivery service will be enhanced by a new collaboration with the Community Market.
Courtesy photo

Redden said providing fresh produce to people who need it is at the foundation of the Community Market’s goals. For the Thanksgiving meals, “we are providing fresh produce, cheese and butter,” Redden said. “We’ll have potatoes, onions, carrots and celery, and we’ll have 800 pounds of each of those.”

To store the fresh produce, the former Edwards Liquors space on Edwards Access Road has been made available. Volunteers may need to bring a jacket and gloves as the large refrigerator, which once kept beer cold will now be used to keep the vegetables from spoiling.

“It comes bulk, and we’re going to sort it into one-pound bags to add to the boxes of nonperishable items that the Salvation Army has traditionally given out,” Redden said.

Interested volunteers can also sign-up by calling 970-328-7900.


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