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Help provide Thanksgiving food for others
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For more information on Project J.O.Y., visit

For more information on Georgia Mountain Food Bank, visit

If you are spending Thanksgiving at a friend or family member’s home this year or have a little extra time and money, then a couple of North Georgia charities have an idea for you.

Local charities are accepting monetary donations as well as time and food products to feed the needy, elderly and lonely this holiday.

“If you are not having to foot the bill this year, then calculate the cost of a Thanksgiving meal — and in the 2013 market I believe it is under $50 — and consider donating that $50 to the food bank,” said Kay Blackstock, executive director of the Georgia Mountain Food Bank.

Blackstock explained monetary donations are down this year, but the food bank is able to stretch its funds far. In fact, every dollar donated can provide food for five meals, according the GMFB’s website

For those unable to donate funds, Blackstock suggested shoppers take advantage of the discounts and keep the food bank in mind.

“If you see a buy one, get one free and you buy one for your family, then donate the free one to the food bank,” she said.

Project J.O.Y. founder Rose Moon is also seeking donations for the community meal her organization provides each year on Thanksgiving. Except this year, side dishes are needed to accompany the turkey.

“We provide a traditional Thanksgiving meal for those in need, elderly, Meals on Wheels, homeless or those who are simply alone,” she said, noting businesses have donated money to supply Project J.O.Y. with the turkeys. “We need side dishes, any side dish whatsoever. We ask volunteers who want to come and deliver meals to bring something, and we ask everyone who is coming and can afford it to bring a side dish.”

Project J.O.Y. will accept donations after lunchtime Nov. 27 at the Masonic lodge in Gainesville. Monetary donations may be made in person or online at

The Thanksgiving meal will be served at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 28 at 621 Lakeshore Drive, across from Sears up the hill.

“If they cannot afford to bring anything, we want them to come and eat,” Moon said. “We will share what we do have.”