Salvation Army: No turkeys for Thanksgiving


Reporter- Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - Barry Stevenson

PADUCAH, KY -  Sheila Downing puts on a brave smile as she prepares to help another client at the Salvation Army.

She says already November is proving to be the busiest month of the year.  She estimates she is seeing about 70 clients a week and will help another 200 families for Thanksgiving.

Right now, she says there is enough food to last through Saturday.  Thanksgiving falls 5 days later.  She is hoping donations pick up and help fill shelves in the days ahead.

If not, she says Thanksgiving may be a little different than many of her clients are used to.  Currently, there are no turkeys, only chicken.

"There will be vegetables, vegetable soup," she said of what she currently has for the baskets.

Valera Brooks runs Benton's Helping Hands Food Pantry. On Sunday an auction raised an extra $4,000. But she says that and the cans will not last long.

"Tomorrow night when we leave here at 6:30 these shelves will be empty," she said.

Still Brooks said, her mission is not changing, "As it was (written) in Matthew, we feed our people.  Jesus wanted us to feed the people and not turn them away and we will."

Turning people away is something Sheila Downing says she is just not prepared to do and hopes she does not have to.

"With the help of the Lord and the help of the public I know in my heart these needs are going to be met."

The Salvation Army in Paducah, located on Irvin Cobb Drive accepts donations Monday- Saturday from 9-3:30 p.m.

The Helping Hands Food Pantry is housed in the Benton First United Methodist Church, located off of Highway 641.  Donations can be dropped off at the church office Monday thru Friday from 8-5 p.m.