By Anthony Scott
Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE - The Greater Copperas Cove Community Agency Network distributed food Tuesday to provide Thanksgiving meals across the area.
Pre-screened individuals and families were given baskets of groceries at the Network's 16th annual Community-Wide Thanksgiving Basket Benefit at the Copperas Cove Civic Center.
"There are so many adults and kids, so many kids, that don't have food," said Ruth Somers as she passed out food Tuesday afternoon. "It's going to give them one big meal."
In order to give thanks, something must be given, and at the event food was distributed to about 350 people. The packages of food consisted of classic holiday staples, such as turkeys, vegatable and nonperishable items for their Thanksgiving dinners. Numbers were down from last year, when about 450 people picked up food.
"I think less people need it and you have a lot of other agencies helping out," said Joeseph Solomon, executive director of the Refuge Corporation.
Last weekend, the Copperas Cove Ministerial Alliance, a network of churches, gave out food as well to families across the Copperas Cove area, as part of a first-time Thanksgiving Day project.
Leading up to Tuesday's event, The Refuge Corporation collected supplies from donors throughout November. The group is an extension of the Christian House of Prayer, located in Copperas Cove and Killeen.
"These are people that really need baskets (of food)," Solomon said. "They will have a full stomach come Thanksgiving where if this program wasn't here, they might not."
Several churches came together to contribute to the event, many sending volunteers. More than 35 people helped throughout the day, some arriving as early as
8 a.m. to help set up.
Solomon said the city also contributed in a number of ways, including allowing the volunteers to use the Civic Center free of charge. Several volunteers came from the Copperas Cove Fire Department as well.
About 10 soldiers from the 4th Sustainment Brigade were also out, getting to know Thanksgiving patrons and helping them pick up their food throughout the day, said Staff Sgt. Felecia Pritchett, with the 62nd Quartermaster Company.
"We just want to give back to the community because they give so much back to us," Pritchett said.