Lufkin food drive volunteers aim to reach 1,500 families this Thanksgiving

Lufkin food drive volunteers aim to reach 1,500 families this Thanksgiving
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 2:04 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2023 at 10:52 PM CST
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Community volunteers will gather at the Lufkin Parks and Recreation Center to prepare and deliver food boxes to families in need in Angelina and Nacogdoches counties.

This annual food drive was started in 1999 by the late Reverend Bettie Kennedy.

Her goal was to help people within the community, especially around the Thanksgiving holiday.

Last year, more than 1,300 East Texas families were served with Thanksgiving food baskets and this year, they’re looking to reach 1,500 families.

Volunteer since 1999, Bruce Love said they’re providing ham and 20 food items to families.

“The list is all sorted by county code, street name and family, so it’ll be pretty easy to do the deliveries and we’ll just load the cars that are in line,” said Love.

He said, “We’re going to Nacogdoches, San Augustine, Diboll, Lufkin, Hudson and we’re going through a good path of Angelina and Nacogdoches County.”

Kermit Kennedy said it all started in 1999 when his mother, Reverend Bettie Kennedy, served food from the back of her van to help people in need.

“Growing up, we would see this, and it had to rub off on us, so we’re just trying to keep that going and help people in the community,” said Kennedy.

Bettie Kennedy’s daughter, Bettie Kennedy-Watts, gets emotional every food drive without her mother.

“We have to keep the service of giving alive through her because that’s what God would want us to be doing, to help others, because it’s not just about me, it’s not about any of us, it’s about all God’s children” she said.

Love said delivering the boxes is a great inspirational impact.

“It’s kind of a different experience with making a donation or tithing your time or money if you have the opportunity to actually deliver the box to the families,” said Love.

Volunteers can help out Friday 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 8:30 a.m. to Noon at the Lufkin Parks and Recreation Center on 516 Montrose Street in Lufkin.