LCCI

Volunteers Laurie Bolin and Vickie Camden stuff grocery bags with Thanksgiving meal essentials at Limestone County Churches Involved, Inc.

The volunteers at Limestone County Churches Involved, Inc. (LCCI), were busy Tuesday morning assembling bags of food for those in need during the Thanksgiving holidays. LLCI, Inc. Director the Rev. Thom Porter and Program Coordinator Daisy McCormack, along with over a dozen volunteers, have been gathering and sorting food items, stuffing bags and giving them out in hopes of ensuring all enjoy the holidays.

McCormack said that 56 families received assistance from LCCI, Inc., on Monday alone, and a line had formed Tuesday morning as the local nonprofit, made up of more than 40 member churches, opened its doors. Porter anticipates the number would increase Tuesday and Wednesday. In 2020, the organization helped an average of 80 families/individuals each day leading up to Thanksgiving.

Volunteers were upbeat as they filled shopping carts full of grocery bags. Each recipient will take home two bags — enough food for four or five days including the fixings for a traditional Thanksgiving meal,

including a turkey for families and fresh chicken for individuals. Bags also included cereal, hot cocoa, toilet paper, soap and other essentials.

“Today is a special day,” Porter said. “The week of Thanksgiving and the week of Christmas we do a special food giveaway. Normally, we have six opportunities for people to come and get food on a regular basis during the year.”

He also thanked the Athens/ Limestone community as a whole for stepping up since the beginning of the pandemic. “We have given out less food this year than past years and part of that is because the community has really stood up and started giving out food,” he said.

Also volunteering at LCCI, Inc. this week are Maria Taylor and Maritza Nava Billabos. Taylor frequently volunteers to translate to Spanish speaking members of the community needing assistance. In anticipation of a busy a week, Taylor asked for additional volunteers on her social media. Elkmont High School junior Nava Billabos answered the call.

“It really helps a lot because they have a need and can not always communicate that,” Taylor said.

In addition to the families LCCI, Inc., will help directly during the Thanksgiving holidays, they will also coordinate with other non-profit organizations to assist with providing food, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars. “They are also non-profit, 501c3, and those are the types of organizations we can partner with to get food out. We do that with other churches and other organizations every now and again,” Taylor said.

LCCI, Inc. is located at 201 North Jefferson Street in Athens and will be open Wednesday morning from 9-11 a.m. but closed Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving. Their regular business hours are Monday through Friday from 9-11 a.m. They offer food and other assistance and resources for those in need. The food bank is an emergency food bank throughout the year.

“We are not hands out, we are hands up. We help families to help each other. My goal is to help families have a beautiful holiday,” McCormick said.

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