The Curry Coastal Pilot

Turkey is on the menu for most families this week as Americans celebrate our history by giving thanks for our freedom and prosperity. While there's often family and football around the edges of this holiday, we focus on food andndash; turkey and all the trimmings.

This year, given our economic downturn, there are more than a few of our neighbors who are short on the plenty side of that traditional Thanksgiving Day equation.

In truth, even before the downturn and outside the holidays, there's always been evidence of hunger in our community.

A majority of our school students qualify for free lunch. In fact, many of them depend on what they carry home from lunch on Fridays to see them through the weekend. The Brookings-Harbor Community Food Share never runs out of clients for its emergency food boxes. The Outreach Gospel Mission always has someone to sit down at the table. A new Soup Kitchen effort to help the homeless has quickly grown to three days a week, and hoping to serve up food five days a week.

With the focus on food this week, there are extra efforts in the community to help share with neighbors who might need a hand.

Thanksgiving-specific help andndash; either food or cash - is being funneled through the Outreach Gospel Mission.

The mission handed out 300 Thanksgiving Day boxes last year, and expects a higher demand this week andndash; on a lower budget. You can take cash or food directly to the mission, 15701 Highway 101 S. this weekend. The distribution of boxes will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.

The Brookings-Harbor Shopping Center is sponsoring a Thanks-For-Giving food drive through Monday at the Brookings-Harbor Shopping Center in Harbor. All the donations will help the Brookings-Harbor Community Food Share program with its emergency food boxes.

If you want to learn more about Community Helpers, join them for cider and cookies from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Shop Smart in Harbor.

And to help with the new Soup Kitchen, either with donations or volunteer time, call organizers Roger Gilbert at 541-251-3653 or Ernest Madden at 541-251-0148.

Don't just celebrate your plenty this year. If you can, find a way to share it with your neighbors.