RANDOLPH — At the front entrance to Goggins IGA, Steve Laundrie approached the three people collecting donations for the Gardiner Area Food Bank — Chrysalis Place.

Laundrie held up a plastic bag containing a good-sized turkey and was asked to place it in the bed of the white pickup that already held more than a dozen and a half donated birds.

The turkey collection was not for Thanksgiving dinners this week, but for distribution along with numerous other fixings to people in need during the Christmas holiday season.

“It’s a good thing to do,” said Laundrie, of Randolph, as he made his way back to his vehicle. “This is something out of my heart. I don’t have a family nearby.” In fact, he said he was traveling to have Thanksgiving with friends.

Ian Thornton of Pittston was the next turkey donor to arrive. He said he is a member of the Knights of Columbus, which supports a number of charitable causes, including this one.

Dave Crockett, a former board member of the food bank, which serves the communities of Chelsea, Gardiner, Farmingdale, Pittston, Randolph and West Gardiner, held up a sign in front of the Randolph IGA soliciting donations.

More volunteers were at a collection site across the Kennebec River on Water Street in Gardiner.

“Between both places we want to get 100,” Crockett said. By 11:30 a.m. Saturday, the drive was well on its way to success with 57 turkeys collected on the west side of the river. Volunteers were prepared to stay until 2 p.m.

Then the turkeys were headed for cold storage at Pine State Trading Co. Crockett said a number of businesses, including the Goggins IGA, Pine State, Black Diamond Consultants, and others aid the food bank volunteers with their mission to feed hungry families.

For people who wanted to donate cold cash rather than a cold bird to the Thanksgiving baskets, Bev Fernald of Gardiner held a large cardboard container, and helping both Fernald and Crockett was Nicole Pelletier of Pittston.

Pelletier said the food baskets would be distributed the weekend prior to Dec. 25.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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