Outreach Gospel Mission volunteers were busy Monday and Tuesday making sure food boxes for the needy were filled with all the Thanksgiving goods: turkey, potatoes, stuffing, fruits, veggies and pumpkin pie mix, to name a few.

They were preparing food boxes for more than 400 people.

"We're prepared right now for probably 130 (boxes) which would put us over the 500 mark," executive director Michael Olsen said. With "the prices of food, people need that assistance, and we're happy to help."

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the boxes were ready for pick up at the old Emmanuel Baptist Church, located at 15786 Highway 101. After being open for only 90 minutes Tuesday, more than 30 boxes had already been given away.

"We do this to satisfy the need of the community," Olsen said. "It's a special time of the year for many."

And mission volunteers enjoy the experience, too.

"What I like about it is the fact that it brings joy to my life to know that I'm making a difference in other people's lives number one, and setting an example of Jesus Christ," Roger King said. "Setting an example of how people should really be, and that is to love and to help. To reach out and to help those in need."

Lloyd Parkhurst likes lending a hand.

"The reason I do it is, I was led to the Lord at the mission and I give back to where I was fed, so I return to the mission what I can," Parkhurst said.

Thanks to an outpouring of community support in the last couple of days, the mission is no longer short of food. Friday evening the mission was scrambling to refill its pantry because of an unexpected surge of people needing food assistance.

"Donations have been wonderful," Olsen said. "We're really blessed andhellip; it seems every donation brought to us was exactly what we needed."