Youngsters, teachers and parents from Parmalee Elementary School brought nearly 1,700 pounds of food to Evergreen Christian Outreach on Friday afternoon, adding to other generous donations the food bank has recently received.
“All this stuff is getting heavy,” student Miles Garrison said while carrying a large sack of food into the food bank. Miles and other youngsters were making many trips from cars to the building beside the Church of the Transfiguration. Food Bank manager Jim Shelton weighed boxes and bags of food, which the donors helped place on shelves.
Parmalee teachers Heather Brown and Brandy Gulliford organized the school-wide effort after reading an article in the Canyon Courier about EChO’s dwindling food supplies.
“It broke my heart that the food bank was getting empty,” said Brown.
To encourage students to contribute, the school had a contest, with parties given to the winning classes. Kindergarten teacher Leslie Reed’s class won first prize, first-and second-grade teacher Lizzie London’s class came in second, and second-grade teacher Julia Davis’ class placed third.
Shelton expressed his appreciation for the bounty the food bank has received.
Two weeks after the story ran in the Courier, people donated more than 10,000 pounds of food, hundreds of pounds of clothing and cash to EChO, said Shelton. And this past week, the food bank has received an additional 4,700 pounds of items, including turkeys that are distributed for Thanksgiving meals.
“We’ve had donations from a number of groups,” he said.
Local Scout troops, area churches and schools, Blue Spruce Kiwanis Club, Evergreen National Bank and the Evergreen Tea Party are among donors, along with Rocky Mountain Village, Mt. Evans Home Health & Hospice, Da Kind Soup, Mountain Dollar Store and King Soopers.
The annual holiday food drive at Bergen Meadows and Bergen Valley elementary schools collected more than 750 pounds of food for EChO.
The Evergreen Safeway store contributed 60 bags of food for which shoppers donated funds, said Shelton. Last Friday night another EChO fund-raiser took place at the Ice House, which was filled with people attending the 1970s-style Peace Jam.
Shelton said the wealth of donations will probably keep the food bank supplied through March of next year.
In addition to regular items, EChO collects food for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for more than 200 families. Turkeys are offered for Thanksgiving, along with pies, rolls and vegetables. Small hams are collected for Christmas dinners.
“Evergreen has shown how a community can take care of their own,” said Shelton. “Thank you, Evergreen!”
Thanksgiving Turkey Trot
Evergreen Christian Outreach’s annual Turkey Trot is taking place on Thanksgiving beginning at 9 a.m.
The 3-mile route will begin in the parking lot of the Church of the Transfiguration. This year participants are asked to park either by Center/Stage, by The Place, or in the Da Kind parking lot to ensure ample room for all of the participants at the starting line.
Friendly dogs with leashes and pick-up bags are also welcome.
Payment for the event is accepted through PayPal forms available at the EChO Resale Shop, EChO food bank/main office, or Curves of Evergreen.
The pricing structure remains the same as last year: $20 per adult, $10 per child age 12 and younger, with a maximum fee of $50 per family.
On Thanksgiving Day there will be a $5 additional fee per participant during registration, which starts at 8 a.m.
The route will begin in the parking lot of the Church of the Transfiguration, wind through downtown Evergreen, go under Highway 74 at the light, around Evergreen Lake and then back to Douglas Hall.
The event will be held regardless of weather, and participants are encouraged to dress warmly — and in costume, if desired. There will be a “pie prize” for the best costumed family or group.
Those participating are also encouraged to bring canned goods for the EChO food bank.
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