Bounty for Families to Provide 100 Households with Turkey Dinners

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A local nonprofit, Bounty For Families, is teaming up with the Yelm Food Co-Op again this year for the Gift of Gobble.

The program offers 100 families a full turkey dinner for Thanksgiving, which can be picked up from noon to 3 p.m. on Nov. 22.

“The Gift of Gobble … was started when the Yelm Cooperative also included the Yelm Food Co-Op, before it split into the co-op and the nonprofit, Bounty for Families,” said Jeevan Anandasakaran, the Bounty for Families coordinator of the Gift of Gobble. “So this is its 12th year. It started as a way to feed struggling families in the community, but also do it in a way that isn’t direct support, like a food kitchen. (It’s) actually providing a full meal that people can cook with dignity in their home.”

Only people who are nominated receive the dinners. The nominations come from local organizations and the community at large. 

Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the Rainier School District, Yelm Community Schools, nine local churches, and several other organizations all nominate folks to participate in the program.

“They all decide on a number of families they need to serve and we put them on the list,” Anandasakaran said. “They nominate their families and then we have 20 families that are nominated online (and) through the Yelm Food Co-Op.”

Nominations can be made online at bountyforfamilies.org or by getting an application form at the Yelm Food Co-Op.

The community-at-large nomination period ends on Friday, Nov. 19, but if Bounty for Families receives all 20 nominations before then, the nomination window will close at that time.

“We call them up and confirm that they want to accept the nominations and that’s how we get to 100 families,” Anandasakaran said.

He said he is blown away by all the support the program gets each year.

“I think there’s something about Thanksgiving,” Anandasakaran said. “People are in a very giving mood heading into the holidays, and food insecurity is a big (deal) in our community. … There’s a large number of families within our community that are struggling. (There’s) something about getting a full turkey dinner — a family can eat off of a turkey dinner for almost a week.”

The program is sponsored by serial donors and people can give to the organization online at bountyforfamiles.org and at the Yelm Food Co-Op.

There’s also another way to give.

From 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18, every beer purchased at the 507 Tap Room and Filling Station in Yelm will provide a dollar to the Gift of Gobble. There will also be raffle drawings at the event.

The cost of the program was roughly $60 a family in years past, but food prices have risen, so the actual cost for this year is not yet known, Anandasakaran said.

“I think Yelm is getting really good at supporting its family members in need and I think it’s only going to get better,” he said. “Our name is Bounty for Families and we want to give that experience to as many people as we can.”

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