Shepherd's House, American Legion and La Pine Community Kitchen, among others -- some on Wednesday, others on the holiday
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- With snow falling and the temperatures in Central Oregon dropping below freezing, many homeless shelters in the region are expecting an influx of guests. As Thanksgiving approaches, the need is greater.
Shepherd's House Ministries in Bend is one of several homeless shelters that expects to be at full capacity this holiday weekend. About 30 guests will be sleeping there each night.
An additional 80 to 100 guests are expected to show up Wednesday. That's because they're one of several locations offering a Thanksgiving meal to those in need.
It'll be complete with turkey, ham, side dishes and dessert. All the food was donated by local churches and community members.
Shepherd's House says other donations like jackets, blankets, beanies and sleeping bags are also crucial right now.
"This time of year, the donations really come at a higher need because there are so many people coming through our doors,” said David Notari, Shepherd’s House director of development. “If we don't replenish those items, then within a couple of weeks, we will be completely depleted. So, having regular donations come through the door is really important to us."
The Thanksgiving meal is planned for Wednesday starting at noon. Shepherd's House is asking the public to spread the word to anyone in need this holiday season.
The La Pine Community Kitchen will also be hosting a Thanksgiving meal on Wednesday. There will be 25 cooked turkeys, 40 pounds of stuffing, 60 pounds of gravy and 125 pounds of potatoes.
Organizers say they're hoping to feed anywhere between 250 to 300 people. That includes families who would otherwise not be having a Thanksgiving meal.
"Well, I believe it's important, because we're putting smiles on people's faces and changing their feelings about things and life," said Phillip Keifer, a cook at the La Pine Community Kitchen.
The meal will be served Wednesday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Officials tell NewsChannel 21 their community pantry is also running low on supplies right now. Food and clothing donations, along with volunteers, are always welcome, especially at this time of year.
Also in La Pine, Post 45 of the American Legion, a national non-profit organization that helps veterans, will be hosting a meal on Thanksgiving Day.
Organizers are expecting up to 500 people. They will also send out 60 hot meals to people who cannot make it.
The American Legion will be serving up 24 cooked turkeys, plenty of ham and 1,000 deviled eggs.
Several local merchants have donated time and food for the meal.
"We reach out to the community to help us fund some of the things we do for our charities,” said Philip Shields, a commander at American Legion Post 45. “Our community has always been, even for this event, we've had places that have helped us. It’s our way of saying, ‘Thank you for your support throughout the whole year.’"
The American Legion meal starts at noon on Thursday. Doors are open to anyone, and donations of any amount are encouraged.