ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Organizers will soon begin accepting applications for this year’s People Loving People Thanksgiving dinner box project for the needy.

People Loving People, a Hawkins County-based non-profit, has teamed up with Of One Accord Ministry and Second Harvest Food Bank to distribute at least 750 food boxes to those in need on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

“On Saturday, November 19th, we will plan to distribute food boxes to families who would not be able to otherwise have a Thanksgiving Dinner,” organizer and People Loving People President Dr. Blaine Jones said in a release. “We normally would like to prepare the meals and serve them locally or deliver them, but many issues affected our decision and our direction again this year.”

According to Jones, during the planning for this year’s effort, “many concerns came up” and organizers ultimately decided to go with the food box format once again.

The application process will be handled by Of One Accord Ministry and its director, Sheldon Livesay. Beginning Friday, Oct. 14, applications will be accepted at two locations:

Emergency Services Food Pantry

Church Hill Shopping Center – Suite No. 2
401 Richmond St, Church Hill, TN 37642
(423) 357-7228

  • Applications will be accepted on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Of One Accord Ministry

306 E. Main St., Rogersville, TN 37857
(423) 272-4626

  • Applications will be accepted at the front desk Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Applications must be made in person.

Each family will be limited to one box, which will contain enough food for a Thanksgiving dinner for four people plus several items to fix a breakfast or two, according to organizers. A Bible will also be placed in each box.

Food boxes will be distributed on Saturday, Nov. 19 at Cherokee High School in Rogersville. Lineup will begin at 8:30 a.m. and boxes will be distributed beginning at 10 a.m.

Mark DeWitte, who was recently elected county mayor, serves as the treasurer for People Loving People. He says the annual Thanksgiving dinner is one of the most important things the organization does.

Jones and DeWitte say that organizing this year’s dinner has come with its challenges. Not only has the cost of each meal nearly doubled, their food suppliers told them they would not able to get enough turkey breasts and possibly not enough hams to serve. The only food items they could promise was deli turkey meat and at double the price, according to Jones.

“Of course, the COVID situation is still affecting things in a negative manner, but we will continue to make our best effort and continue to serve as best we can,” DeWitte said.

DeWitte said they are committed to providing at least 750 boxes, which should feed at least 3,000 people.

“If we get enough to supply more food boxes, we definitely will,” he said.

Organizers are seeking donations from churches, church groups, families, businesses, and individuals. Donations can be sent to People Loving People, P.O. Box 35, Rogersville, TN 37857. People Loving People is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

For more information, contact Dr. Blaine Jones at 423-272-3150 or docbjones1957@gmail.com.