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Several local businesses, organizations, clubs and residents are offering hot meals and other food donations to ensure nobody in the community has to go without this holiday season.
In Lone Pine, residents have two holiday meal options this week, depending on their age.
Residents can head over to VFW Post No. 8036 for its annual, free community dinner. The Ladies Auxiliary will be serving Thanksgiving dinner from 2-6 p.m., and all are invited to attend.
Seniors, meanwhile, have been invited to the Merry-Go-Round restaurant on Wednesday. A free dinner will be offered to residents 65 years and older from 2-3:30 p.m. Seniors either dine in, or take their Thanksgiving dinner to go.
Owner Judy Siegel originally owned the China Garden in Ridgecrest for 25 years, where she provided a free Thanksgiving meal to seniors in the community. Now she is bringing this tradition to Lone Pine.
â€śThis is our way of saying thanks to the community,â€ť Siegel said. â€śWe will be serving a traditional turkey and ham Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings.â€ť
Countywide, the Inyo Mono Advocates for Community Action and Salvation Army will be distributing hundreds of Thanksgiving food baskets to ensure community members in need can enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings.
This year IMACA will be delivering 164 Thanksgiving food baskets throughout the county and has already received requests for 240 Christmas baskets.
IMACA Director Daniel Steinhagen said that the group generally hands out more Thanksgiving baskets than Christmas baskets, but â€śfor some reason, it switched on us this year.â€ť
Steinhagen said donations for this yearâ€™s baskets have been good, but IMACA ran out of turkeys for the Thanksgiving dinners, and will need to replenish its stock before the Christmas baskets are delivered.
IMACA has set up donation barrels at Vons in Bishop, Josephâ€™s Bi-Rite Market in Bishop and Lone Pine, Manor Market in Bishop, Carrollâ€™s Market in Big Pine and the Chevron mini mart in Independence.
IMACA will be accepting applications for Christmas food baskets through Wednesday, Dec. 1.
The Salvation Army has packed more than 115 Thanksgiving food baskets for families in need, and hopes to be able to pack many more for the Christmas holiday.
According to Envoy Tim Brown, â€śThereâ€™s definitely a huge need at the moment because of the financial crisis, but we have a very supportive community.â€ť
The Salvation Army will be teaming up with Eastern Sierra Transit Authority Nov. 29 through Dec. 10 for the fourth annual Stuff-A-Bus program.
During the Stuff-A-Bus program, ESTA will have donation boxes for non-perishable food items on each bus in Bishop, Lone Pine, Mammoth and Walker.
The Salvation Army and ESTA will also have a bus parked at the Kmart/Vons parking lot in Bishop on Saturday, Dec. 4 from 1-3 p.m. to collect donations after the annual Bishop Christmas Parade.
â€śStuff-A-Bus is going to be our main source of food for the Christmas baskets this year,â€ť Brown said. â€śItâ€™s been a very successful program in the past and weâ€™re looking forward to it.â€ť
Also, any groups or employers who have group food collections are invited to call ESTA at (760) 872-1901 to have donations picked up.