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Turkeys Wanted: Kendall County Pantry in Need of Thanksgiving Help

Nov 04, 2016 08:53PM ● Published by Shannon Antinori

It’s been a rough year for the newly renamed Kendall County Community Food Pantry, but volunteers remain committed to providing food to local families in need – including Thanksgiving meals.

Now, amidst financial hardship, including allegations of theft, the pantry could use some help supplying an estimated 600 turkeys to Kendall County families.

Yorkville resident Wendy Martorano-Askey said she decided to launch a GoFundMe to raise money to purchase turkeys after learning of the shortage.

“They only had 65 as of this morning,” she said, noting that the pantry aims to serve 600 families this month.

With the pantry’s Thanksgiving distribution scheduled for Nov. 17, Martorano-Askey said she hopes to collect enough money – or donated turkeys – to fulfill the need by Nov. 15.

Compounding the pantry’s financial issues is the fact that turkeys are more expensive than in years past.

“This year of all years, turkeys are up in price by about 30 cents a pound,” Martorano-Askey said, estimating it will cost the pantry around $25 apiece for each 12- to 13-pound turkey.

It’s the second time Martorano-Askey has stepped up to help the pantry out with its Thanksgiving distribution. Seven years ago, she and another community member, Paul Auten, raised $5,000 for the cause.

“We were able to get the pantry the turkeys they needed,” she said. But this year, with more clients and higher turkey costs, Martorano-Askey estimates they will need to collect around $13,000 to meet the same goal.

She launched a GoFundMe campaign on Friday in the hopes of funding the pantry’s Thanksgiving effort.

“I’m just really involved in the community, and I would hate to see families not have Thanksgiving,” Martorano-Askey said, adding that the fundraiser has the blessing of pantry volunteers and board members.

Donations of frozen turkey are also being accepted at the pantry, 208 Beaver St. in Yorkville. Turkeys can be  left in a cooler in the pantry’s drop-off area.

Martorano-Askey said volunteers will be regularly monitoring the drop-off area, which is always open, and transferring any donated frozen turkeys to a freezer.

For more information or to make a donation, visit the Holiday Food Campaign GoFundMe page.

A GoFundMe campaign aims to raise enough donations to purchase 600 turkeys by Nov. 15.

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