By Steve Hansen
QCS Managing Editor
About 275 Quay County families will be able to make special Thanksgiving meals they might not have been able to afford through the help of two faith-based organizations in Tucumcari.
Working together, the Ministry of Hope, a non-denominational Christian charity, and Tucumcari’s chapter of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic charity, have coordinated the distribution of nearly 200 turkeys and 75 hams to families in the Tucumcari area.
Representatives of both groups said they cooperate to ensure they are not duplicating recipients. In both programs, recipients qualify in advance to receive food, clothing, and other items at no cost.
Volunteers gathered to pack boxes Monday at the Ministry of Hope. Many of the boxes are for larger families in need, said Doyle Frazier, who manages the charity. Those families, he said, receive other Thanksgiving trimmings along with the turkey or ham. These can include cans of vegetables and pumpkin for making pumpkin pie, and sweet and white potatoes.
The Ministry of Hope purchased about 100 turkeys and 75 hams at a cost of around $1,600 with proceeds from voluntary community donations.
Fresh produce, he said, came from the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico in Clovis, which distributes surplus food. Those who qualified picked up their Thanksgiving preparations on Tuesday
The St. Vincent de Paul group also bought about 100 turkeys, according to Arlene Frey, who manages St. Vincent de Paul operations in Tucumcari. These turkeys were set to be distributed Wednesday at Tucumcari’s Hammond Hall. St. Vincent de Paul bought turkeys with funds it receives from sales at its thrift store on Main Street, Tucumcari, as well as donations and a grant from the McMullen Foundation, a local charitable foundation.
Both organizations depend on armies of volunteers to staff operations, conduct sales and organize donations for either sale or donation, both said.