Volunteers Prepare for Longview Thanksgiving Food Drive Distribution |

Volunteers and food packages filled the Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center on Monday as teams prepared, stacked and sorted ahead of today’s Longview Thanksgiving food distribution.

Charlotte Davis, chair of the annual campaign, said volunteers were preparing food boxes for about 900 families for the 37th annual event.

“We fill 1,000 boxes,” Davis said of the volunteers, the largest percentage of whom she said were high school students.

Among the volunteers was Davis’ granddaughter Alexus Thomas, 17, a junior from Longview High School, who said she had been volunteering at the food drive since she was 12. She had been at Maude Cobb since 9:30 a.m.

“I’ll keep coming until they don’t want me anymore,” Thomas said with a laugh.

Volunteers could use the food drive website to sign up for two-hour shifts starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m.

Thomas is part of a group of students at Longview High School with Luke Farr, 16, who also volunteered Monday during the food drive. It was also not the first time that Farr had volunteered to prepare the drive for distribution. He said volunteering his time and effort is fun.

“It’s important to me because, I mean, I just want to give back to the community. It’s fun and, for people who need help, I want to help, ”he said.

At least 10 students from Longview High School were up to Maude Cobb for the effort.

Yadira Torres, Shreemayi Undavalli, Evelyn Campos and Hibah Khan all 15 years worked together to sort the different tomato products that were donated.

They arrived around 10 a.m. and had spent a few hours sorting through hundreds of cans of tomato products like tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes and the like.

The girls said they were part of the Longview High School Tech Students Association, which encourages members to take leadership roles and provide community service.

“Knowing what we are doing here is making a difference in our community and giving people another meal to eat, especially during the holidays when a lot of people are not as lucky as most of us. is just nice to know that, ”Undavalli said.

Hallsville High School students Abby Anderson, 17, and Sadie Stanitz, 16, were at the event as part of the National Honor Society. The girls said they wanted to help others this holiday season.

“We are very lucky with our families, and we have food on our plate almost every day and we know people are not as lucky as we are,” said Anderson. “So we just wanted to come and help people in our community and hopefully make Thanksgiving a little better for people who aren’t as lucky as us. “

However, not all of the volunteers were high school students.

Mae and Arthur Cook have donated their time to Longview Thanksgiving Food Drive for the fifth time. On Monday, the couple were busy loading boxes of half a dozen cans of green beans each.

“We love to volunteer and serve the community,” said Arthur Cook. “(There is) a satisfaction in knowing that we are helping others. “

“God has been good to us so we love to give back,” added Mae Cook.

Similar to last year’s food drive, today’s pickup will be a drive-thru event. Boxes of food will be loaded into vehicles so families do not have to enter Maude Cobb’s interior.

Prequalified families had to complete an application to receive a box of food.

The remaining goods will be donated to local service organizations such as The Salvation Army, Caring and Sharing, Newgate Mission, Longview Dream Center and Longview Community Ministries.

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