People Loving People and the Of One Accord ministry partnered Saturday to distribute a total of 1,450 Thanksgiving food boxes to needy families in Rogersville, Church Hill and Sneedville.
From 2004 until 2020 PLP prepared hot meals that were either served in-person or delivered by volunteers. Last year PLP distributed Thanksgiving food boxes, which was repeated this year as well.
PLP co-founder Dr. Blaine Jones said a number of factors contributed to the decision to cancel the hot meals again in 2022. He noted that the cost became too high to cook meals, the longtime chef moved away, and with COVID and flu season still a factor, finding volunteers wasn’t going to be easy.
Each box will feed a family of four a Thanksgiving Dinner and contained ingredients for a breakfast as well, yielding a potential of 4,000 to 8,000 meals for Hawkins County citizens,” Jones said. “People Loving People committed to raising funds to cover the cost of 750 of the boxes with Of One Accord Ministry covering the other 250 boxes. Each box cost $25, but besides the food contents in the box, lots of love and Happy Thanksgiving wishes were distributed as well.”
Jones and fellow PLP organizer Mark DeWitte, greeted individual cars with season’s greetings and a Happy Thanksgiving During Saturday’s event. Of One Accord worked in conjunction with the 2nd Harvest Food Bank to provide the boxes.
Among the volunteers who participated in the 2022 Thanksgiving food box distribution were: Heritage Lites, Cherokee Football Players, Faith Assembly Church, East Rogersville Baptist Church, and The Bridge Church.
Of One Accord ministry director Sheldon Livesay told volunteers to think of all the people that will have a much better Thanksgiving because of their effort, energy, muscle and financial support.
“When we go to sleep Thanksgiving eve, we can rest assured, we have made a big difference in the lives of a lot people,” Livesay said.
Volunteers distributed 700 boxes in Rogersville, 450 boxes in Sneedville, and 300 boxes in Church Hill.
The boxes contained everything needed to feed a family of four on Thanksgiving including a whole chicken, 5 pounds of potatoes, powered mashed potatoes, milk, gravy, casserole mix, canned sweet potatoes, cake and brownie mix, cranberries, canned vegetables, canned fruit, juice, and fresh grapes.
Event sponsors included: WCQR Radio Station; Second Harvest Foodbank of NE Tennessee; People Loving People of Rogersville; Sneedville country music performer Morgan Wallen; and Of One Accord Ministry.
Donations to help cover the cost of the food boxes are still being accepted by People Loving People at P.O. Box 35, Rogersville, TN 37857 until Monday, Nov. 28. Donations may be tax deductible.
“Mark and I want to thank each individual, family, business, corporation or organization that has contributed to another successful feeding of a Thanksgiving meal to our neighbors in Hawkins County” Jones said. “We have been able to be involved in feeding thousands of folks in our area over the last 19 years and we hope we will be able to continue in some way as long as we are able. God has blessed us unbelievably.”
“We are just fortunate to have been so blessed to do this,” DeWitte said. “We want to turn our blessings into a blessing for others.”
All photos from the Rogersville food box distribution at Cherokee High School by Sheldon Livesay.