The Nelson County Pantry received their order of turkeys on Thursday, November 10th.  We were all ready to begin packing for our regular Thanksgiving distribution.  We have potatoes, turnips, sweet potatoes, carrots, stuffing and all the other foods that make for  a wonderful Thanksgiving meal.

Well guess what??  We arrive to begin packing the more than 500 grocery bags we will need and opened the freezer and OH MY GOODNESS!!  The odor was so foul.  The floor of the unit was red and all of our turkeys are spoiled.

We were in a panic!! We are expecting more than 300 families the next day,  Saturday, November 19th and we have NO TURKEYS.  With the hard work of our volunteers, we were able to get all of those critters out of the unit and outside of the building.  It was cleaned and sanitized to look and smell better than new.  You would never know there had been such a mess!  The County sent a container from the land fill and several County deputies arrived a few minutes later.  In short order, the truck driver, deputies and our volunteers loaded all of those birds and they were off to their new home at the land fill.

Thank goodness we pre-ordered enough turkeys from the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank to provide a family one for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.  They were holding our Christmas order until our December delivery.   Had we not ordered so many, we probably would not have been able to get them in time.  Buying 300 turkeys is not something you do in a day.  They need to be ordered well in advance.

A local business owner assisted with emptying the freezer and offered to take his big box truck to the Food Bank to pickup the balance of our turkey order.  He brought them back and let us keep the truck overnight to store the turkeys until we could distribute them.  $3,648.44 later and with the help of all those wonderful volunteers, we are back on track and ready to help make Thanksgiving a great day for our clients.

Apparently the fan motor froze and the unit’s safety feature shut it down.  The motor is on order and will be replaced within a week.  The gentleman who serviced it plans to make regular inspections to help make sure we don’t have this problem again.

A special thank you to everyone who made this possible.  Your help goes further than you can imagine and touches so many.

May you all enjoy a WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING!!

UPDATE:  We were able to provide every family visiting our Pantry with a turkey for their Thanksgiving table.  We are so grateful for all the help in getting the word out.  A special thank you to Tommy Stafford with the Nelson County Life Magazine for putting this information out to the media and for all the coverage by WSET-TV 13 and WVIR-29.  Please check out our “In the News” page and follow the links to their coverage.

Katrina Koerting with the Nelson County Times just happened to be at the Pantry to interview us for an article to be published in their November 24th edition when this all unfolded.  Please look for her story and we will post a link when it is available online.

The response from so many caring and generous people has been overwhelming!  Thank you all so very much and from the bottom of our hearts we wish you a very Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!