With 8 percent of families in Coryell County earning less than $15,000 a year and 65.5 percent of families receiving food stamps, 13 percent of families live under the poverty level with that number more than doubling to 30 percent for single mothers, according to the American Community Survey.

Families are in need of more help this year than in the past several years and community organizations, churches, businesses, schools, and clubs are extending a helping hand both financially and physically.

Today, thousands of pounds of food will be collected through the Food for Families Food Drive scheduled until 8 p.m. at H-E-B Plus on U.S. Highway 190.

The Baptist Benevolence Association is leading the food drive that will provide Thanksgiving dinner for hundreds of Cove families.

Billie Pederson said Benevolence volunteers spent hours in the H-E-B warehouse packing many of the 1,000 brown paper bags of food offered for $5. The bags contain a complete meal of 12 pounds of food donated by H-E-B.

The Noon Exchange Club and the city of Copperas Cove held the 17th annual Feast of Sharing on Thursday night at the civic center, where approximately 500 people were fed.

“This event really brings our community together,” said Exchangite Azeita Taylor, who volunteered at the event. “Whether you’re homeless or make $100,000 a year, everyone comes together to share a meal.”

The YMCA held a Zumbathon that included a food drive to benefit the Cove House while school students brought in canned goods and nonperishable items to donate to the Baptist Benevolence Association, Cove House, and the Cove Soup Kitchen.

Several churches in the area are holding Thanksgiving meals free to the public. Star Group—Veterans Helping Veterans is using money raised from its golf tournament held earlier this month to donate more than 100 Thanksgiving baskets of food to families of homeless students. CCISD selected the families, President Jonathan Haywood said.

The Omnicron Pi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity donated $5,000 to Bethesda Fellowship Ministries on Wednesday as part of “Operation Holiday Uplift” to provide meals on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The ministry will feed 100 Cove families and deliver boxes of entire Thanksgiving meals to Cove residents on Monday and Tuesday.

Contact Wendy Sledd at wsledd@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7476

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