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Piñon Hills Community Church presents holiday meal kits to more than 100 families

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times
Eden Sanchez and her grandfather Fred Proctor help give out Thanksgiving Boxes of Love at Pinon Hills Community Church in Farmington on Nov. 23, 2020.

FARMINGTON — More than 100 families from throughout San Juan County will experience a brighter Thanksgiving holiday after they received food boxes put together by members of a local church.

Representatives of Piñon Hills Community Church in Farmington presented Boxes of Love Thanksgiving dinner kits to dozens of families from throughout the county on Nov. 23.

Recipients included people from Shiprock, Aztec and Kirtland, according to Rachel Corley, the church's communications and women's ministry director. She said the boxes included frozen turkeys and the makings for mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans and more.

The Thanksgiving meal program mirrored a Boxes of Love food giveaway project the church initiated in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.

MORE:Volunteers distribute food and beverages to those in need at Piñon Hills Community Church

Corley said approximately 25 people associated with the church participated in the Nov. 23 giveaway, with dozens of others donating money to the campaign over the past several months.

Annie Wulfert loads Boxes of Love Thanksgiving dinner kits into recipients' vehicles in the parking lot at Pinon Hills Community Church on Nov. 23, 2020.

The families that had registered for the program on the church's website were notified by phone last week and received their boxes at a drive-up event on Nov. 23 that followed all COVID-19 safety protocols, Corley said. They remained in their vehicles while church representatives wearing masks and gloves brought the boxes to them.

The reaction of those who benefited from the program was heartwarming, Corley said.

"They were so excited," she said, explaining that some families had a breadwinner who had just lost a job while others were dealing with cases of the virus in their household. "Their hearts were full of gratitude and thankfulness for this food."

Corley said the program is the first time the church has conducted a Thanksgiving food giveaway, but she said it was so successful it likely will become a regular occurrence in the future.

"It was definitely needed," she said.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or measterling@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.