Executive Director of the Bluefield Union Mission Craig Hammond carves the first turkey of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner that will be served on Thursday. The Union Mission will also be distributing Thanksgiving food bags today starting at 11 a.m. See story, A-2

BLUEFIELD — Thanksgiving is a time for appreciating the good things in life, but a local nonprofit agency is reaching out today and helping people facing financial hardships and other issues that put a traditional dinner out of reach.

Starting 11 a.m. today, the Bluefield Union Mission will be offering people in need the food that goes into a Thanksgiving dinner, said Executive Director Craig Hammond.

“Today the union mission will be distributing the traditional Thanksgiving food bag with a turkey and all the trimmings,” Hammond said.

Hammond said that the mission is expecting about 200 families that have signed up for a holiday food bag. Requests for Thanksgiving aid kept arriving Tuesday.

“There will be plenty for all,” he added. “And if for some reason they didn’t sign up, we’ll be able to put something together, no problem.”

The food bag distribution will continue until supplies are exhausted. Local donors helped to fill the bags, giving recipients reason to be thankful for their community’s generosity.

“Special thanks to the Charles Stacy Law Office. He was very helpful in getting all the things we were a little short of,” Hammond said. “I just want to thank everyone. The Airport Road First Church of God came through with a bountiful number of turkeys. Food City and Grants Supermarket came through in a big way. First United Methodist Church in Bluefield, Va. contributed a lot as well.”

“Everyone was so generous this year,” he added. “There were many contributors this year. They just went above and beyond the call of duty. They were just great. We have the most generous community in the country, I believe.”

Each bag comes with the Thanksgiving dinner and one extra meal.

“This year, of course, there are mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, corn, green beans, rice, pumpkin pie and there’s also a box of Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix and syrup if they want something for breakfast while the turkey’s in the oven,” Hammond said.

The Bluefield Union Mission’s Thanksgiving dinner, with the option of eating in or carry out, is being served Thursday starting at 11 a.m., and The Grind in downtown Bluefield, Va. will be starting that same day at 4 p.m. Collin O’Donnell, the restaurant’s owner, said dinner would be free. The restaurant’s doors open at 3 p.m.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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