St. Vincent

McKee Jack, a volunteer with the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Laconia, said the organization needs to have 800 turkeys donated by Nov. 17, but right now has mostly empty freezers. (Adam Drapcho/The Laconia Daily Sun)

As they do every year, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is planning to hand out a few turkeys for needy families this Thanksgiving.

“Just under 800,” said Jo Carignan, manager of the food pantry at the charitable organization that serves the Lakes Region from their base in Laconia. “We have that many applications this year. There's a lot of families.”

One small sticking point — for the moment, anyway — is that they only have four turkeys in stock at the pantry.

“We're giving them out the 17th (of November), but we'd like to have them by the 15th,” Carignan said in a phone interview Wednesday.

So she is putting out the call, urging people to bring turkeys to the St. Vincent headquarters on Union Avenue.

“We will gladly take them — one by one, 10 by 10, 100 by 100,” she said.

She wasn't kidding about the 100-by-100 thing, either.

“We have a couple of organizations that bring us a hundred,” she said. “Then we have people who bring in 10 at a time,” and some who bring turkeys to the roost one by one.

Carignan, who has been with St. Vincent de Paul for 28 years, has no doubt that they'll meet their target. They always have.

Carignan said they rely on a network that includes school nurses throughout the region to identify families that might need a little help. They also have 15 or 20 regular volunteers who will help when the time comes to send the turkeys on their way.

Families can show up at the food pantry on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., or on Monday, Nov. 19, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Thanksgiving is on Thursday, Nov. 22.

“Bring turkeys right here to St. Vincent,” Carignan said.

You don't even have to trot.

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