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Thanksgiving without turkey? Mad River Valley Interfaith Council says no

Without the annual efforts of the Mad River Valley Interfaith Council, dozens of Valley families would have to go without this traditional celebratory meal. Holiday gifts for children would also be missing without the council’s seasonal programs. Demands for these services are increasing and funding is short.

“Can you help or do you know someone who needs help?” asked spokesperson Chris Barnes.

The Mad River Valley Interfaith Council is again sponsoring the turkey basket program to provide turkey and fixings to anyone in The Valley who needs help celebrating this holiday. Their goal is that everyone should have what they need to have a healthy, hearty meal on this holiday. They are now accepting donations for all of their traditional year-end seasonal programs as well as for their ongoing community support programs, which include emergency assistance and the Mad River Valley Food Shelf.

The Mad River Valley Interfaith Council, comprised of eight Valley faith groups, works to fill in the gaps in service from state and federal programs. This group, with the mission of enabling neighbors to help neighbors, engages in a number of continuing efforts to help those in need, including emergency assistance with housing, transportation and utilities and operation of the Mad River Valley Food Shelf.

The Turkey Basket Program relies on the support of businesses and individuals who make contributions for turkeys and the Mad River Valley Interfaith Council congregations that sponsor a food and dollar drive to provide squash, veggies, potatoes and all the other items.  This program is one of the most prominent community-supported activities in The Valley with over 60 baskets delivered last year. Teens from the various congregations sort all the food donations on Sunday and volunteers pack the boxes on the following Tuesday.

The Council would like to identify those that need a turkey basket this year. Even if someone received a turkey basket last year, they must still sign up for a basket this year. The turkey basket request forms will be available at the Food Shelf soon, as well as at other locations around The Valley. Local pastors or members of the faith communities can also help access any of the Interfaith Council programs. Arlie Belknap, will again manage this program and can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

“Please think about how you can participate in these wonderful community programs, as a business, as an individual, as a member of a faith community, or as a neighbor. If you share the mission of helping neighbors, this is the time to join in,” Barnes added.

To make a financial contribution for these programs and the other outreach efforts of the Mad River Valley Interfaith Council make out checks to Mad River Valley Interfaith Council, P.O. Box 342, Waitsfield, VT05673. The Interfaith Council is a qualified 501(c)3. Donations may also be dropped off at the offices of The Valley Reporter in the Mad River Green, Waitsfield.

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