Home News Local News Food basket giveaway to take place of Thanksgiving dinner

Food basket giveaway to take place of Thanksgiving dinner

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From left, Nathaniel Paredes, Monique Sanchez, Issac Dominguez and Mary Gonzales are pictured in 2019 with some donated canned goods for last year's Thanksgiving dinner. This year, the Gonzales family is seeking donations for a Thanksgiving food basket giveaway in place of the annual community dinner. For more information, Mary Gonzales can be reached at 624-7579. (Daily Record File Photo)

Gonzales seeking food and monetary donations

The novel coronavirus pandemic will prevent the Gonzales family from putting together their annual community Thanksgiving dinner, but they are still planning to help those they can for the holiday with a food basket giveaway.

Public health orders regarding the pandemic encourage people to stay home and prohibit gatherings of more than five people as of Friday, but Mary Gonzales said she’s not going to let that stop her from helping those in need.

Gonzales’ late husband, Johnny, was known for his philanthropic work and ministry in Roswell that included the annual Thanksgiving dinner, as well as drives for school supplies, toys for Christmas and food. Johnny Gonzales died in 2017. Mary and her sons have carried on his work through their Community Volunteer Program and Prison Door Ministries.

“I love it and I don’t want to quit,” she said. “I ain’t going to let them stop me. I obey the orders, I obey the laws of the land like the Bible tells me. But I don’t want them to stop me because there is a lot of need.”

Gonzales said she would like to give away at least 50 food baskets filled with ingredients for a holiday dinner including turkey or ham and perishables such as potatoes, pies, beans, rice and canned goods. She is seeking donations of those items now. Monetary donations toward the food baskets will also be accepted.

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All sizes of turkeys and hams would be ideal, she said, to accommodate single people and the elderly, as well as families.

“I’m also seeking a place. If someone has an empty office or an empty place downtown somewhere, I want to do it like a drive-thru. We will come out and hand them the basket so there’s distancing. We could pray over them in the car and give them the basket,” she said.

The giveaway will likely be about a week before Thanksgiving on Nov. 19 or 20, she said.

Deliveries can also be made to those not able to pick up the baskets.

To make a donation or arrange to receive a basket, contact Mary Gonzales at 575-624-7579. Checks can be sent to the Community Volunteer Program at Post Office Box 2790, Roswell NM 88201.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.