Updated Nov. 20, 2012 – 3:45 p.m.

The Forest Park Community Center is filling up with cans, boxes and bags of food as volunteers sort and box Thanksgiving dinners for 140 local clients.

“We give them a frozen turkey and the Thanksgiving basics, including a pie,” said volunteer Bridget Dowdle.

Wednesday afternoon, around 20 volunteers, along with Forest Park firefighters, will drop off Thanksgiving boxes containing the bird and a pie, as well as a box of mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, sweet potatoes and “other assorted vegetables,” said volunteer Diana Dylewski. The delivery takes about three hours.

Monday, workers were sorting the results of several food drives by the Forest Park Girls Scouts, Forest Park Baptist Church, St. John Lutheran Church and the Terraces Condominium Association. Todd and Holland Tea Merchants also brought a large donation, Dowdle said. Shopping carts of non-perishables lined the back wall of the community center.

Other items in the boxes include cereal, pancake mix or oatmeal for breakfast, canned soup, rice, peanut butter, corn bread mix and canned pasta products, Dylewski said. The pantry has a regular client list of around 60 families who receive food monthly.

“This food is all collected privately, so we like to give back to the village,” said Dowdle.

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...