JONAS, Pa. — For some, it may be too early to start thinking about Thanksgiving dinner, but not for those with the Valor Clinic Foundation near Jonas.
The organization helps veterans get back on their feet, and it's already collecting donations for the holiday food drive.
This year more than 530 vets and their families will receive food, and that number is expected to increase closer to the holiday.
We're going to do 15,000 meals at Thanksgiving. It's a behemoth logistically to take in all the food, prepare it, sort it, get it ready to go out and out, and we don't want to have any hiccups," said Mark Baylis the founder.
That's why the organization in Polk Township is starting its collection earlier this year.
Baylis says the program has grown so much since last year that this year they will move their holiday meal box operation to Camp Trexler to help store and sort the food.
"It should be an interesting holiday for the volunteers this year. The scout camp manager has been retained by the people who bought the camp, and he's in the process of putting a loop driveway to go around. So people can roll up, and we can feed the food out into the cars," said Baylis.
Baylis says he understands money may be tight for many, but he hopes people still lend a helping hand because the holiday food drive wouldn't be possible without donations.
"If you come out with either a donation or willing to deliver a meal, we would love to have you help, and the barrels are out; if you see the list on the barrel, please support. Turkeys, bacon seem to be the big ones that we have trouble getting all the time, enough of," Baylis said.
Meal boxes consist of perishable and nonperishable food.
Contact the Valor Clinic Foundation at (570) 664-6468 for a list of donation bin locations.
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