Thanks to Give seeks donations for Nevada County meal program | TheUnion.com

Thanks to Give seeks donations for Nevada County meal program

The Union staff

One of the packaged meals delivered by Thanks to Give on Thanksgiving Day.

Thanks to Give, an annual effort to provide Thanksgiving meals to those in need, needs some help of its own from the community.

The effort, now in its 17th year, consists of a group of more than 40 community volunteers who each year deliver traditional holiday meals, individually packaged, to seniors and disabled adults who are home alone on Thanksgiving Day.

"We order all the food from SPD Market, who provides us a generous discount," said founder Nancy Zeno-Hamilton. "The total cost of this project is about $1,700, which is funded entirely with donations. We greatly appreciate any assistance you can offer to fund this worthwhile effort."

Zeno-Hamilton said she and her husband, Francis, started the program in 1999, while she was working for Nevada County as an Adult Services social worker.

"I started small, trying to get a response and see if it was something that the county would be receptive to, and it took off," Zeno-Hamilton told The Union in 2012. "The first year, we delivered 70 meals."

Last year, Zeno-Hamilton said, Thanks to Give delivered 180 meals, with help from SPD, Country Copy and Foothill Flowers, the staff and drivers at Gold Country Community Center, and the American Legion's kitchen facilities.

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"We receive our referrals for the meals from several local agencies," she said. "The majority (come) from the Community Center meal delivery service, which is closed on Thanksgiving Day."

The group of volunteers meets at the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building early on Thanksgiving morning where they individually package each meal, ready for delivery, Zeno-Hamilton said. Another set of volunteers gathers at 11 a.m. to pick up a list of names that includes addresses, directions and maps to each home. A small bouquet of flowers is sent to each household as well.

"The whole project is finished by 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day so that the volunteers can go and enjoy their own Thanksgiving," Zeno-Hamilton said.

If you would like to volunteer, donate money, make a referral or just get more information, call Zeno-Hamilton at 530-273-1217 or email yadayada1019@sbcglobal.net.