Community members are being asked to donate frozen turkeys and other dry and canned goods, which will be used to provide healthy food to those in need during the holiday season.

Crossroads Mission kicked off its annual food drive Friday, with staff members and volunteers at all five of the Yuma County Walmarts, hoping to collect 1,000 frozen turkeys by the end of the day.

“We have done this for many years now,” Volunteer Gloria Godley said of the food drive, which is held in cooperation with KYMA TV. “We are trying to get enough turkeys and other food in order to support our veterans, the homeless and people who are in programs at the mission trying to change their lives for the better, so every little bit helps.”

The response was overwhelming, with many shoppers even donating carts filled with food they had just purchased inside the store, including Ken McMurdie, of Five Shot Firearms, who dropped off two turkeys.

“We donate to them every year, so we are keeping up the tradition,” McMurdie said.

Sun Graphics and Desert Document also made a donation of 12 turkeys.

Each year Crossroads Mission serves about 11,500 meals during each of its 3 days of Thanksgiving and 3 days of Christmas events.

More than 4,500 meals are also delivered to the homes of the elderly, frail and mentally challenged during these days.

Crossroads Mission also provides the turkeys for food boxes that are given out by veterans organizations.

Some of the items needed include meats of all types, seasonings, canned goods, fresh vegetables, pasta and lots of desserts. Monetary donations are also always welcomed.

Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot even stopped by the Walmart on Pacific Avenue on Friday to make a monetary donation. He also challenged other members of law enforcement to make a donation if they were able to do so.

So far this year the Mission has served 68,273 meals.

Donations can be dropped off at the Mission’s kitchen, which is located at 944 S. Arizona Avenue.

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