Food center short by just a couple hundred turkeys

New London - With just days before families across the country pull up seats at their dining room tables, a local food center hopes it can provide the families they support with a wholesome holiday meal.

As of Friday, Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center has received enough individual and business donations as well as gift card donations to narrow the gap of the number of turkeys needed to 192.

Gemma Moran works with 96 other agencies that distribute food to their clients. On Friday, representatives from Foxwoods Resort Casino delivered 100 turkeys to the food center. Foxwoods also donated turkeys to agencies in Norwich, Willimantic, Pawcatuck and Westerly.

Kelly Horton, vice president of the food center, said Friday that the center has almost met its goal of 2,310 turkeys - 500 more birds than last year. Last November, the food center distributed 1,800 turkeys with all the fixings. Earlier this week, they were 972 turkeys short.

"We have enough stuffing now, we have enough cranberry sauce and we have enough produce," Horton said. But, she added, you can never really have too much stuffing.

Horton said the center could still use potatoes, carrots and onions.

The Dog Watch Café in Stonington this week donated 200 turkeys, and Charter Oak Federal Credit Union donated another 252. Pfizer employees and the Steak Loft restaurant also donated turkeys, Horton said. She added that she was confident that the outpouring of support she has seen in the last few days will help the food center reach its goal.

Thanksgiving meal donations to the food center will continue to be accepted Monday, when agencies the meal center distributes to will pick up their meals.

j.hanckel@theday.com

How to help

What: Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center

Where: 374 Broad St., New London

When: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday

Needed: Frozen turkeys, potatoes, carrots, onions, grocery gift certificates and cash.

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