Baine Cagle, programs coordinator and case worker for Owasso Community Resources (right), hands a box of food to a recipient of the organization’s Thanksgiving basket program in Nov. 2018. ART HADDAWAY/Owasso Reporter

Owasso food pantries are helping to feed hungry families this holiday season.

At Owasso Community Resources, 109 N. Birch St., locals contributed to filling nearly 300 Thanksgiving Food Baskets, which will reach around 1,300 individuals. Various food drives also brought in almost 10,000 pounds of canned food.

OCR’s Thanksgiving drive is a major community-wide effort that started more than 10 years ago to convene area schools, churches and organizations to prepare baskets or donate funds to purchase food supplies for local households.

Each basket, valued at $75, contains all the ingredients to accommodate a full meal such as stuffing mix, cans of soup, corn and green beans, gravy and chicken broth, mashed potatoes and more, along with a $25 gift card for a turkey or ham.

OCR received help from several area donors, including Hodson Elementary School, Owasso 8th Grade Center, Tulsa Technology Center, Sunny’s Phillip 66, Complete Care Chiropractic, Owasso Library, Copper Kiln and Orizon Aerospace, to name a few.

“We are truly thankful for everyone (who) assisted OCR as it helped make sure no one goes hungry this Thanksgiving,” said OCR Director Randy Cowling.

Neighbors in Need, 206 N. Main St., is also collecting donations, but for its annual Christmas outreach, held next month.

So far, the nonprofit has filled around 160 baskets – which, like OCR’s, will include all the components to cook up a full meal – and has collected about 8,500 items through different food drives.

Morrow and Stone Canyon Elementary schools, Bailey Medical Center, Owasso Varsity Cheer, Tulsa Tech and Collinsville Cub Scouts Pack 53 were among several donors who contributed to NIN’s drive this year.

“It’s been absolutely amazing,” NIN Director Tiffany Bell said. “Just the fact this community when I put out a call, they answer it right away; it’s just good.”

OCR distributed its baskets to families in need on Monday, Nov. 25, at Friendship Baptist Church. NIN will end its Christmas drive on Wednesday, Dec. 11, and distribute its baskets on Saturday, Dec. 14, 9:30-11:30 a.m., at its headquarters.

For more information or to contribute to these causes, visit OCR’s website at owassohelps.org, or NIN’s website at neighborsinneed.help.