SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – With Thanksgiving just eight days away, Crosslines Food Pantry is getting ready for its Thanksgiving Distribution.

“So they get a full Thanksgiving meal,” Director of Communications Tim Smith said. “This evening, we have a great volunteer group coming in to help us pack and get ready for that because we have basically volunteering opportunities from now until Saturday through Saturday, which are [the] actual distributions.”

This week, the pantry has received many calls from families looking for food.

“The last two days have been way over 100 families,” Volunteer Deb Stratman said. “So way over 100 orders have been filled. And today we’re on track to probably to do that as well. The phones have been ringing off the hook.”

There are specific requirements for a family to get food from crosslines. They have to be a Greene county resident, have a social security card, and meet income eligibility. For a household of four, the monthly income should be around $4,200 or below.

During the holidays, a family needs to have a household with school-aged kids or all adults must be 60 years old.

“For our Christmas distribution, if [families] want to get toys from us, they obviously need to have a Social Security card for every child that’s going to be receiving toys,” Smith said. “It also provides a full-fledged Christmas meal. Turkey, all the fixings, everything for that family as well.”

The Christmas distribution for Crosslines is December 17 at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds. Families can apply on Crosslines’ website between November 28 and December 3.

Crosslines also helps families beyond Greene County.

“We also just loaded a trailer from the Camdenton area full of diapers,” Smith said. “So the need is extensive. We’re just trying to come alongside these people with open arms and try to provide as much relief as possible for them during the season.”

For volunteers like Stratman, dedicating her time to helping others is rewarding.

“I just had this wonderful gift of time as a retired person,” Stratman said. “So when we have that gift of time, we get to decide what to do with it. This is where I chose to be because of my history with Crosslines. I have volunteered for the holiday portion of Crosslines for ten or so years. It is such a great place to be around people with a heart to serve.”