The holiday season always puts a big demand on area food pantries, but this year the Lower Cape Outreach Council is facing an even greater need for donations due to the challenges area families are facing due to the ongoing pandemic, which has cost many folks on the Lower Cape their income.
This morning, registered families will pick up turkeys, fresh produce, and all the fixings for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, but donations for the remainder of the holiday season are welcome. Thanks to area merchants and organizations, LCOC is able to provide all the fixings for Thanksgiving dinner to roughly 450 clients.
Gennie Moran, chief operating officer for the LCOC, said that people will receive a box of produce from Fancy's courtesy of Ron Fancy, a turkey, and non-perishables like stuffing and cranberry sauce, as well as a $25 gift card for the purchase of dessert and/or bread, with the gift cards provided by St. Vincent DePaul.
“We started this process a few months ago,” said Moran. “Every pantry manager called their clients and asked whether they wanted turkeys.”
While the gift of a turkey doesn't seem like a big deal, Moran said that such donations were put into perspective for her last year when she found herself without a turkey after she couldn't get to the store on time. Turkeys, especially last minute, she discovered, don't come cheap.
Neither does holiday shopping, which is why the LCOC has reached out to Toys for Tots with requests from parents that were compiled into a spreadsheet. While no one making a request for gifts will be refused, there was a cutoff date for requests to be made. That said, the LCOC is absolutely accepting donations for the holiday season.
Moran said the most-needed items are gift cards for teens, and because the LCOC isn't doing meals for Christmas, gift cards to area grocery stores, including Trader Joe's, Stop and Shop, Shaw's, and Whole Foods. The good news is that people are stepping up with their donations.
“Nauset Newcomers reached out to us,” Moran said. “Usually they give us fixings for Thanksgiving. This year what they're going to do is give us $25 gift cards for the teens and kids, as well as a $1,000 matching donation.”
Another way to support the LCOC is by donating to the annual Chatham Turkey Trot, which this year has gone virtual in keeping with pandemic protocol. To make joining in more affordable, the registration fee has been cut in half, and while food donations aren't part of the 2020 event, financial donations are. Each donation directly benefits families and individuals in need on the Lower Cape.
“If people could support the Chatham Turkey Trot, which is virtual, that would be great,” Moran said. “Because they support us.”
For those that have signed up for the LCOC Santa Stop, pickups will take place Dec. 15 for Orleans, Truro, and Provincetown clients, Dec. 16 for Wellfleet and Chatham clients, and Dec. 17 for Harwich and Brewster, all from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at KK Korner, 19 Brewster Cross Rd. in Orleans.
For more information about the Lower Cape Outreach Council and to learn how to donate, visit lcoutreach.org/.