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Bend family saves Thanksgiving for food pantry

Family, who wants to remain anonymous, donates 300 turkeys

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Giving Plate food pantry in Bend is once again handing out turkeys to those in need. It's a Thanksgiving tradition that almost did not happen this year, for the first time ever.

Last Friday, the Bend grocery store that was supposed to deliver the meals said the food was not going to arrive on time.

So The Giving Plate's executive director, Ranae Staley, posted on social media, to fill the community in on the challenging circumstances.

The very next morning, a Bend family reached out to help.

They offered to purchase 300 turkeys and about 150 side dishes. A selfless act to save Thanksgiving from a family who wants to remain anonymous.

"I was getting calls all this month of people saying, “When will you have turkeys?’” Staley said. “It was just so hard to say, 'I don't know. I don't know if we will, I don't know if we'll have them in time. We're waiting and we're in limbo just like you are.'

"These turkeys are just something that helps them appreciate the beauty of their community, and to see the beauty of people's hearts. They're seen and not forgotten, (and) someone cared enough to help them have a Thanksgiving."

Staley said The Giving Plate typically sees about 70 people each day, but it more than doubled that on Thursday. Staley said a record-setting 166 families were served on the first day they handed out Thanksgiving meals.

Jeffery Fox, who picked up a meal Thursday, said, "I usually get a turkey from our boss, but this year she gave up on doing it any more, so I decided to come here."

Deborah, who also picked up a meal, said, “(I’m) very pleased that so many people try and do everything they can to make sure bend is supported by the community. It makes me feel very proud to be a part of the community."

Maggie, who picked up a meal with Deborah, said, "I'm so blessed and grateful for this assistance and the people in line. I mean, the people in line have been smiling and hugging each other. We get it. You don't have to have a lot of money to have compassion."

Staley said the original meal shipment from the local grocery store is still on the way. The Giving Plate will use that that extra food to supplement the meals they will be handing out during Christmas.

“The way this is playing out now is pretty incredible,” Staley said. “Now, the other shipment that we were anticipating to come for Thanksgiving is actually going to be Christmas holiday meals. In December, we'll have turkeys and sides to give to our guests for their Christmas meal. We're excited to be able to do both!"

Last year, for the entire holiday season, Staley said the giving plate handed out more than 1,000 meals.

People can pick up a Thanksgiving meal from The Giving Plate through Saturday.

Bend / Central Oregon / Community / Holidays / Top Stories

Max Goldwasser

Max Goldwasser is a reporter and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Max here.

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