Hockanum Valley Community Council CEO David Engelson said the numbers are staggering heading toward Thanksgiving:
• 725 families for Thanksgiving.
• 850 families for Christmas.
And he has to feed them all.
The first order of business is a food drive for the food pantry at various locations throughout the area. In Vernon alone, the police and fire departments and the Department of Public Works are among the municipal agencies pledging to help and the Rotary Club of Rockville is one of the regional organizations lending a hand.
Engelson said Thanksgiving obviously comes first.
"Let's see if we can really push ourselves to where we need to be. We are talking 725 families that need to be adopted and we need to do it this weekend," he said.
Engelson called the situation an "emergency." Right now, HVCC is on track to be able to acquire 500 turkeys from FoodShare in time for Thanksgiving, but more are needed for the balance of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Town Departments, challenged by Mayor George Apel, will be presenting more than 2,000 items to FoodShare this week and that food will go directly to HVCC. Scouts brought in about 12,000 pounds of food.
"We try to capitalize on Thanksgiving to get as many items as we can," Engelson said.
The goal is to fuel the large HVCC walk-in cooler and a 22-foot storage unit on loan from Kloter Farms, Engelson said.
Kloter Farms has committed to donating a minimum of 50 meals to the HVCC and another additional meal for every shed sold after 50, Engelson said.
"We want to fill that shed Kloter Farms gave us," Engelson said.
HVCC started accepting the adoptions of families on Monday.
Here is what sponsorship entails:
Family of three to four:
• A 20- to 22-pound turkey.
• A large box of mashed potatoes or 5 pounds of fresh potatoes.
• A large box of stuffing.
• Two large cans of turkey gravy.
• Two cans of yams or sweet potatoes.
• A can of cranberry sauce.
• Two large cans of fruit.
• Two large cans of vegetables.
• A box of cake, cookies or brownie mix.
• A can of frosting if cake mix is donated.
• A package of dinner roles.
• Breakfast bread or muffin mix.
A bonus would be pancake mix and syrup for breakfast, Engelson said.
Engelson said HVCC has many single clients, most of the seniors.
He said the suggested donation for a single person is a small turkey or roasting chicken or chicken breast and one can or box of each item listed above.
Engelson said the pantry is also in need of peanut butter and will always accept a gift card.
To make a donation, call 860-872-7727.