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THANKSGIVING'S IN THE BAG VOLUNTEERS PREPARE FREE HOLIDAY MEALS FOR 1,800 RECIPIENTS.

Byline: Karen Thacker Special to the Daily News

LANCASTER - There were plenty of smiles to go around Saturday morning as needy families and individuals lined up to receive Thanksgiving baskets from Grace Resource Center.

Applications filled out earlier in the month produced a list of 1,800 recipients this year - about 100 more than in 1999.

Gift certificates for $5 toward a turkey were placed in the bags (called baskets) along with stuffing, canned vegetables, fruits and yams, cranberry sauce, a pound of margarine, carrots, onions and canned pink salmon.

Most of the food was donated, including the stuffing from Desert Christian students.

An assembly line of people, tables and food was set up so baskets could be filled starting Friday night at 8.

``It's quite an amazing process,'' said Grace Resource Director Steve Baker of the group effort.

While adults worked the assembly line, children volunteering their time took the filled baskets and started packing them in another corner of the building.

Only half the number of baskets could be completed that evening due to a lack of space at the current Grace Resource facility on Yucca Avenue. A larger facility is being prepared in a former car dealership building on Sierra Highway.

As baskets were given away Saturday morning, more room was made available to assemble the remaining baskets of food.

Basket handouts began about 7 a.m. with plenty of early morning applicants on hand despite the early cold.

A traditional Thanksgiving dinner will also be provided Thanksgiving Day to anyone in need at Grace Resource. Serving time is from noon to 3 p.m. at the center, 44932 Yucca Ave.

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2 photos

Photo:

(1 -- color) Volunteers at Grace Resource Center in Lancaster move bags of Thanksgiving food for distribution to Antelope Valley needy on Saturday.

(2 -- color) The Grace Resource Center in Lancaster is the scene Saturday of holiday food distribution. Gift certificates toward a turkey were among the donated offerings.

Gene Blevins/Special to the Daily News
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Nov 19, 2000
Words:334
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