Nearly 100 local families in need will now have a Thanksgiving meal, thanks to the generosity of a Dawson County-based service organization.
Last week the Rotary Club of Dawson County gifted the RIC Rack Food Bank in Dawsonville $500 in Thanksgiving foods after learning that the pantry was in dire need of donations with the holidays right around the corner.
“We jumped on it, got quick approval from the board …. now these folks will have a Thanksgiving meal,” said Rotary Club Member Randy Wells, as other club members and pantry volunteers unloaded hundreds of food boxes and cans.
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Wells said that the club was able to deliver over 351 pounds of stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes, gravy and hams, along with 36 turkeys and hams which were donated by residents of the Country Place Subdivision in Dawsonville.
According to RIC Rack Manager Angela McKinzie, prior to the Rotary Club’s donation, things looked "scary and sad" at the pantry, because RIC RAK hadn't received nearly enough food to fill the needs expected for the holiday season
“I'm looking for probably 100 meals going to families in the next week and a half, just for thanksgiving," McKinzie said. "The food should have been coming into us like in October, even from the stores we should have been seeing it last month but it's just not there."
She said that the slow trickle of donations can be traced back to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, making it incredibly hard for the pantry to meet increased demands in the community.
"That's been a game-changer for us since march. It's very stressful because we're still here trying to do what we're trying to do. It will keep you up at night,” she said
But if donations from clubs and community groups continue to come in, things could start looking better for the pantry.
"This is huge. This is astronomical," McKinze said. “This makes me happy, so I'll sleep good this weekend."
Anyone looking to make a donation of holiday foods for Thanksgiving or Christmas can bring it to the pantry Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The RIC Rack Thrift Stor and Food Bank is located at 829 Hwy. 9, Dawsonville, GA 30534.