MARICOPA — Looking for a holiday feast for a family in need? Look no further: FOR Maricopa and Maricopa Pantry are both offering hungry families the opportunity to snag some Thanksgiving food next week.
On Tuesday, FOR Maricopa is hosting a turkey giveaway. At 9 a.m. patrons can come to the blue barn at 19428 N. Maricopa Road to sign up and take a number. Then from noon to 2 p.m., volunteers will be there to hand out the turkeys. For those looking to volunteer, help is requested from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
On Thanksgiving, Maricopa Pantry and the city of Maricopa are organizing Maricopa’s first Melting Potluck at Copper Sky Recreation Complex. The idea came from Mayor Christian Price, who reached out to Maricopa Pantry owner Jim Shoaf to organize an event similar to Thanksgiving events done by the city in the past.
The Melting Potluck will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and only requires attendees to bring a dish to share with the community. Maricopa Pantry encourages community members to bring in a family recipe or culturally significant dish to showcase people’s diverse backgrounds.
Jennifer Connelly, director of development for Maricopa Pantry, has been gearing up for the event. Maricopa Pantry expects upwards of 200 people to arrive for the potluck, and it has planned alternative seating outside to accommodate the Thanksgiving crowd.
“I am so, so excited. We are expecting hundreds of people. We have tons of volunteers, lots of food. We have games for the kids. We have activities for adults,” Connelly said. “We have gotten response from the community that we’re going to have dishes from all over the world. I just can’t wait.”
There is a link to the food sign-up sheet on the Facebook event page, and another separate sign-up sheet for those interested in volunteering at the event.
“The only thing that I don’t know for sure that we’re gonna have is tamales,” Connelly said, laughing. She encourages anybody who knows how to make the tasty Mexican treat to stop by the potluck and share with hungry brunchers.
Community members expressed to Connelly how much the potluck means for them, as some families have more people attending than previously thought.
“They were having 10 guests for Thanksgiving that they hadn’t anticipated — out-of-town guests,” Connelly said. “The lady said because of this event she can take her family, give them a beautiful dinner and she doesn’t have to worry about the cost and she gets to show them what Maricopa is all about.”