BLACKFOOT – Organizers and volunteers for the Community Dinner Table and Idaho Foodbank gathered at the Needlecraft Building at the Eastern Idaho Fairgrounds Monday morning preparing Christmas boxes to be distributed today.
Distribution will begin at 10 a.m.; numbers for your place in line will be available beginning at 7 a.m. All recipients must be in line by 9:30 a.m. Boxes will include a frozen turkey or whole chicken and a variety of canned, dried and fresh food including eggs, bread, milk and fresh fruit.
Derek Preece, owner of On the Spot Cleaning, showed up Monday morning to make a "generous monetary donation" along with 1,000 cans of food.
"We really appreciate all of the people who have made donations," said organizer Elizabeth Fields. "Derek's customers donated cans of food and then he matched their donations."
Fields says it is amazing to watch how everything comes together.
"We needed apples this morning," said Fields. "We thought we had apples, then we didn't. A volunteer here just says 'you need apples?' The next thing I know, we have apples for the boxes."
Fields said when Mitch and Kelly Mansanarez found out the group was still in need of turkeys for the boxes they donated 30 turkeys.
The group expects to hand out 350 boxes today. Any boxes left over will be available at the Community Dinner Table tonight from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Jason Lee Memorial Methodist Church, 168 S. University.
Santa will be at the the Community Dinner Table tonight with stockings for children. Photos with Santa will also be available free of charge.