By JOSELYN KING
WHEELING – The annual distribution of Thanksgiving food baskets to the Apostolic Temple in Bethlehem is scheduled for Saturday morning, and this year the gift is costing church more than ever.
Distribution begins at 11 a.m. outside the church’s Dream Center, located at 407 Main Street in North Wheeling. The event will be mostly behind the wheel again this year, with items already prepackaged and ready to be placed in cars.
But clothes, coats and school supplies will also be available during the distribution. Those who want more than the food basket will have to park and get inside.
“We are thankful for this 31st year and for being able to give a Thanksgiving gift,” said Rev. Darrell Cummings. “We believe this Thanksgiving will be more difficult for some than for others due to price inflation.
“We want to be able to help them, but inflation has also become a challenge for us. Food products have increased by 20 to 30% in some regions. “
The church typically spends between $ 7,000 and $ 10,000 on food distribution. This year, costs have already exceeded $ 10,000 with additional bills, according to Cummings.
He said 300 food baskets were being prepared.
“We will provide meats – turkeys and various meats – fresh fruits and vegetables. There will be good canned items, ”he said.
Although the majority of the giveaways are behind the wheel, participants are still encouraged to wear masks and stay in their vehicle when possible.
“If you just need the food, the boxes are ready,” Cummings said. “You just pick up and carry on. “
He also thanked those who supported the church’s recent charity basketball game to raise the funds needed for the Thanksgiving gift. The main sponsors included Belmont Savings Bank, Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration and WesBanco.
He said a woman told him this week that she wouldn’t starve if the church didn’t provide her with a basket of food, but that she would probably eat chicken.
Having a turkey makes the day special, she said.
“It’s about helping people have a special day,” Cummings said. “I hope this gives them hope that something better is to come.”