Food baskets to be given away on Saturday

Donations of food and money will make it possible for hundreds of needy families in the Havelock area to have a complete Thanksgiving dinner.

Grateful Heart Community Outreach Ministries and Friends is scheduled to give away 100 Thanksgiving baskets, which will include a turkey and traditional fixings, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Havelock Community Missionary Baptist Church at 262 U.S. 70 West in Havelock. The baskets will be given away on a first-come, first-serve basis to those in need

LaTanya Roane, a longtime organizer for Grateful Heart, said organizers used to cook the meals themselves in years past but believe the baskets provide an opportunity for family time.

“That way they can commune with their own family in the kitchen and cook and do it together, cooking with family,” Roane said. “They just get to do it together. It’s a new venture and a new mission, what we are doing.”

She said she received donations from churches, businesses, community groups and residents to provide the turkey, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, beans, corn, yams, cornbread and other items to needy families.

“I went to the people that helped last year and the year before, individuals and family, and they all said they would help out,” Roane said.

She said organizers just want to do something to help out.

“We’re just trying to do our little part,” Roane said.

She said the group received support from Walmart, the Havelock-Cherry Point Rotary Club, Annunciation Catholic Church, New Beginnings Ministry of Faith, New Life Christian Fellowship, Coldwell Banker First Realty, Clifton Management and Real Estate Management.

“I thank God for those who have said yes to my requests,” Roane said.

The group will be assembling the baskets on Friday night, and anyone willing to help can call Roane at 447-5426 or 229-7753.

Carolyn Mewborn, director of the Cherry Point-Havelock Ministerial Association Outreach Food Pantry, said the organization reached its quota and will be giving away more than 70 food baskets to families who went through an application process. The baskets include traditional Thanksgiving food items plus a $10 certificate to go toward the purchase of a turkey or ham.

Mewborn said the organization would like to give more but it’s just not possible.

“There are just hundreds of people that we serve,” she said. “We couldn’t give everybody a box.

“I feel better this year because at least the ones that we miss here can be helped by (Grateful Heart).”

The ministerial association receives donations and food through a group of churches and by individual donations.

Terry Morton, of Havelock, donated several bags of food from her Bunco group on Friday.

“Once a month we always try to do something as a group, and when Thanksgiving rolls around, we can make a donation to the Outreach,” Morton said.

Piney Grove African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Harlowe Volunteer Fire Department are helping get turkeys and Thanksgiving meals to needy families in eastern Craven County. More information is available by calling the church at 447-1600.