Nearly two dozen local families will benefit from this year's Thanksgiving Holiday Basket Program in Durham.
On Tuesday, a small group of volunteers led by Social Services Director Amanda Astarita organized and distributed the Thanksgiving meals to families in need at the Durham Activity Center.
Astarita said 30 turkeys had been donated by individuals or businesses, along with an assortment of other foods including two bushels of squash grown at Pogmores Farm in Middlefield, 30-dozen eggs donated by in Durham and cookies and apple pies made by Girl Scout Troops 62650 and 62127 of Durham.
Volunteers also handed out $600 worth of gift cards.
"Some people ask me, 'Do you get a lot back?' and I say 'oh, yeah.' You get a lot back, more than you give," said volunteer Doug Marden, whose wife Dorothy baked amish bread and knitted 13 pairs of mittens to give to the families.
Astarita personally delivered a few of the meals to individuals unable to pick them up. She said the extra turkeys, which numbered just three two years ago, will be kept frozen and will be given out before Christmas.
Three families also received Christmas trees from Herzig Tree Farm in Durham.
"Individuals and businesses have stepped up to the plate and the volunteers are wonderful," said Astarita who works closely with Durham Interchurch Assistance on the program.