For an entire year, the Feed the Boro committee, led by Don Poe, planned for its largest event of the year — providing Thanksgiving lunch to thousands. From raising money and organizing to planning and preparing, the committee received overwhelming support from our community once again. Bulloch County is one of the most loving and giving communities, and that was on full display Thanksgiving eve and Thanksgiving Day.
Wednesday, Karen Phipps from the Statesboro Soup Kitchen, along with Beverly Johnson from Bulloch County Schools, led volunteers as they prepped the Thanksgiving meals. From cooking and deboning turkeys to assembling delivery boxes, the volunteers worked well into the evening.
The Knights of Columbus once again deep fried nearly 40 turkeys that were used to feed our public safety workers who gave up time spent with their family to ensure we are all safe.
Sharon Wallace of UPS in Statesboro led a team of UPS volunteers in organizing routes for the thousands of deliveries that were made. Patrick Robertson and Edie Grace Grice helped coordinate the massive delivery effort on Thanksgiving morning.
More than 500 volunteers donated their time to assist with the massive effort on Wednesday and Thursday.
On Thanksgiving Day, volunteers arrived at 7 a.m. and started assembling the lines and filling them with food that volunteers had worked through the night to cook. The volunteers plated and packaged for delivery almost 3,000 traditional Thanksgiving meals.
Melissa Long with Great Dane managed the plate assembly line, where volunteers assembled nearly 1,000 plates an hour for three hours.
Volunteers began delivering Thanksgiving lunches around 10 a.m. to every part of our community. More than 100 police, fire, EMT and other public safety workers were fed, along with hundreds of elderly residents, shut-ins, our neighbors and anyone who wanted a hot Thanksgiving meal, regardless of income.
Feed the Boro partnered with East Georgia Regional Medical Center and provided Thanksgiving lunch to all family members with loved ones in the hospital. Meals were also sent to Evans and Candler counties, where volunteers distributed them.
"Our goal was to make sure no one went hungry this Thanksgiving in Bulloch County with the help of this loving and giving community in which we live," Poe said. "We all have so much to be thankful for this year. Our community once again came together to show the overwhelming love we have for all the citizens we know as our friends and neighbors. This is what makes our community great and what makes me proud to call Statesboro home."
In addition to volunteers, there are many other organizations and people who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to pull the event off.
A special thanks to Dr. Ken Lecain for allowing Feed the Boro to use Statesboro High School to prepare and distribute the meals, and to Pastor John Long with the Christian Social Ministry Food Bank, which coordinated food supplies and handled intake of the families who requested meals.
Feed the Boro especially wants to recognize Tod Marsh and Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of Bi-Lo Statesboro, for donating 200 12 to 15 pound turkeys, in addition to being the 2018 presenting sponsor.
"Thanksgiving should be spent enjoying time with friends and family, not worrying about how to put food on the table," said Marsh, Statesboro BI-LO store manager. "We're grateful to have the opportunity to work with Feed the Boro to ensure every neighbor has the opportunity to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal."
Feed the Boro also thanks D&R Intensive Car Care & Lube, Statesboro First United Methodist Church, Davis Marketing Company and Homestar Financial for stepping up as platinum sponsors, along with hundreds of other businesses and individuals whose generous contributions make this event possible.
We are told in Acts 20:35, "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
There were many blessings this Thanksgiving in our community by both those who received and by those who gave through the Feed the Boro effort.