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Local health care groups gather donations for local food banks

by EMRY DINMAN
Staff Writer | November 23, 2020 1:00 AM

MOSES LAKE - For the 20th Annual Turkey Drive hosted by local health care providers, residents hoping to help stock the local food bank’s pantry traveled to the organizations themselves in the spirit of giving.

Staff with Samaritan, Confluence and the Moses Lake Community Health Center are typically stationed in front of grocery stores to collect donations before loading those turkeys and cans of cranberry sauce into the Moses Lake food bank’s truck. But with pandemic restrictions, organizers had to get creative. Confluence and the Community Health Center set up drop-off boxes, while Samaritan had a curbside pick up, said Samaritan Volunteer Coordinator Rachelle Lange.

“We actually had a really good turnout, given the sudden change,” Lange said. “We’re pleasantly surprised about the turnout and really grateful.”

The drive collected non-perishable food items, turkeys, and cash and check donations, all of which went to support the Community Services of Moses Lake, which runs the food bank. Donations were accepted Thursday and Friday, and will be distributed Monday through Wednesday leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday.

The local turkey drive began in 2001, when it was solely hosted by Samaritan Healthcare, Lange said, until around five years ago when Confluence Health and the Community Health Center joined in their efforts.

“We come back every year because we feel it’s so important to serve those in our community, and obviously the holiday season can be rather difficult,” Lange said. “(The food bank) typically serves about 1,500 families -- not individuals, families -- during this time. I think now it’s even more important.”

Emry Dinman can be reached via email at edinman@columbiabasinherald.com.