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Give Food to SHARE at Thanksgiving

SHARE Inc., McLean’s nonprofit organization that distributes food all year, needs Thanksgiving meals for local families that are “down on their luck,” says food room chairman Jean Respass.

“People talk about ‘affluent McLean,’” she said. “Some people have been temporarily without positions, or laid off, ever since 9-11.

“Layoffs have affected people who live in some of the ‘good’ areas, such as Falls Church and McLean.

“We have subsidized housing in both places,” said Respass, a member of the auxiliary at VFW Post 8241 at 1051 Spring Hill Road in McLean. “Everyone says ‘affluent McLean,’ but I have a lady who doesn’t have lights or heat at the present time.”

SHARE distributes food from its pantry every week, but the need has increased in the last two years. “We had 159 requests for food in the month of October,” said Respass. “Everybody is checked out.”

Respass, the owner of McLean Heating and Air Conditioning, has run SHARE’s food pantry for 24 years.

She said SHARE also helps families in other ways, “with school books, doctor appointments, and furniture.”

THANKSGIVING FOOD BASKETS will be given away from SHARE’s pantry at McLean Baptist Church on Monday, Nov. 25.

Because they are likely to contain items that need to be refrigerated, the baskets should be taken to SHARE at McLean Baptist Church on Chain Bridge Road in McLean by noon on Monday, Nov. 25.

Families will come to the church to pick them up between noon and 5 p.m. on that day.

A food drive conducted through local schools will be held on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 22-23.

Nonperishable foods, detergent, diapers and other household needs are being collected by students who will come to the lower level at the church on Friday evening to organize the items for distribution.

Thanksgiving baskets should include turkey, five pounds of potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls or bread, dressing, cranberry sauce, margarine or butter, bread, canned vegetables and “anything else they think might made a nice basket,” said Respass.

Donors can make their own baskets if they wish, but “a cardboard box would do nicely,” Respass said.

Donations of money, food or gift cards redeemable from Safeway or Giant are welcome. To donate, call Ben Byrd, 703-534-8455.

Share also has an answering service at 703-284-22179, but responses can be slow to reach volunteers, said Respass.