Westerville News & Public Opinion

WARM preps to provide 350 Thanksgiving meals


While others are focused on scary costumes and sweet treats, the Westerville Area Resource Ministry already is focused on providing hundreds with the big meal on Thanksgiving day.

WARM expects to provide the food for at least 350 Thanksgiving dinners, from the turkey through the pumpkin pie, said Lauren Ogden, development and communications assistant at WARM.

Families that participate in WARM's "Thanksgiving Blessing Day" are given turkeys, fresh produce, two bags of groceries filled with items to make side dishes and dessert, and pie.

To provide meals to so many, WARM has called on community members to help in any way they can.

People can contact WARM at 614-899-0196 to receive a list of groceries needed, then shop for and deliver the bags themselves to WARM, Ogden said. Filling the two bags of groceries given to each family costs about $35, she said.

People also can give money to be used to purchase groceries or fresh produce.

Groups can get involved by hosting food drives for a particular item needed for the bags, or they can pool together to donate a certain amount of bags of food to WARM, Ogden said.

Anyone planning to donate on a large scale is asked to call WARM in advance to help coordinate the donation.

For this year's dinners, WARM especially is in need of frozen pumpkin pies, which can be store bought or homemade, Ogden said.

WARM already has secured 350 turkeys for Blessing Day, but donations of frozen turkeys would not be turned away, Ogden said.

Food donations for Thanksgiving meals are due to WARM by Nov. 18 to allow time to assemble the food packages.

Ogden said WARM isn't worried about getting a surplus of Thanksgiving foods because any excess will be used to bolster the shelves in its food pantry.

"If it doesn't fit in the bags, it definitely fits on the shelves," Ogden said. "This time of year, things on the pantry shelves tend to shift toward fall items."

In addition to food and monetary donations, WARM is in need of volunteers to ready the food packages for hand out and to help deliver the bags to WARM clients on Thanksgiving Blessing Day, Nov. 23.

Anyone interested in helping with holiday efforts can call WARM's office, Ogden said. She said the ministry sees it as its job to help community members help one another in any way they can.

"It's facilitated through WARM, but it's really a chance to connect people with their neighbors. However people want to help, we can facilitate that," she said.