While the holiday turkey needs have been met, thanks to many generous donors who heard our pleas for help, several key “ingredients” for the Christmas meal are still needed.

Thanksgiving meal baskets were given to 424 families over the three-day distribution in November. A similar number of Christmas baskets, including nearly 100 baskets that will be delivered to seniors, are anticipated for the Christmas distribution during the week of December 19.Rusty Thigpen

GRACE Food Pantry manager Rusty Thigpen estimates the value of each basket to be nearly $80, including the turkey as the centerpiece menu item. Rusty works with several local retailers to purchase turkeys in bulk at a tremendous discount, usually around $8-$10 per turkey.

Donors responded in a wonderful way when asked for help to cover the cost of all the turkeys needed for both the Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets. Still, with the turkeys for the traditional Christmas holiday meal assured, Rusty is worried the Pantry will lack several critical components for the baskets.

Rusty believes the Pantry will run short in the ingredients needed to prepare other items of the main menu such as bread, rolls, dressing, gravy, cakes and pies. “Sugar, flour, cooking oil, chicken broth and evaporated milk” will fall short, said Rusty.

Cooking oil is the most critical need right now. “Nearly all items in the menu use some cooking oil, either as an ingredient or in cooking,” said Rusty. Oils like vegetable oil, peanut oil, olive oil and canola oil are most requested at the Pantry and, often, clients are turned away with no oil or a much smaller quantity than needed. Rusty also said shortening products such as Crisco are also needed.

“Please tell everyone to pick up an extra bottle of oil at the store,” said Rusty, “and bring it to the Pantry.” The GRACE Food Pantry is located at 837 East Walnut Street in Grapevine. Hours are 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday.