JAY — It was cold and stormy on the Monday before Thanksgiving when people lined up at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Jay to collect the food baskets that would brighten their Thanksgiving day.

However, by 11:30 a.m., the parking lot was filled with cars, and folks waited inside for the noon distribution of the boxes of food which had been prepared for them by volunteers the day before.

Eric Tompkins, a board member of the Food Cupboard , has directed this smooth operation for the fifth year. It came together like clockwork, with the help of many volunteers in the community. He said he cannot begin to name them all but is very thankful for all their help, and could not do this without them.

Preparations began many weeks ago as Eric arranged for volunteers to sign up applicants for the food baskets, during food cupboard hours. A total of 203 families were signed up, and boxes were marked with a menu, planned according to family size and prepared in an assembly line fashion on Sunday afternoon. Fresh foods were added on Monday morning and all were ready for noon pickup.

The Spruce Mountain High School National Honor Society was available for some community service time, and helped carry heavy boxes of food to cars outside the hall. All the boxes were accompanied by a cheerful “Happy Thanksgiving” to the recipients, from either Eric or the students.

The National Honor students have been chosen for their demonstrated qualities of service, leadership, character, and scholarship. They contributed 120 pounds of vegetables from the raised beds in the community garden that they maintain and harvest. 

Spruce Mountain High School National Honor Society members helped bring boxes of food prepackaged for Thanksgiving to the cars of people who had previously signed up for them. From left are students Jordan Daigle, Gabriel Beaudoin, Lauren Cornelio, Rylee Saunders, Rylee Delaney, Lilly Towers, Tanna Herlihy and NHS coach, Jessica Ellingwood. 

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