WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 19, 2011, 10:37 PM

Mortar Board Turkey Baskets in High Demand

Grand Forks, ND (WDAZ TV) - Thanksgiving spirit is felt across Grand Forks.

By: Stacie Van Dyke , WDAY

Thanksgiving spirit is felt across Grand Forks. After gathering boxes and cans of food, UND students handed out full dinners to more than 12 hundred people in need.

For the past 32 years, members of UND's Mortar Board have collected donations to feed families in need on Thanksgiving, but this year, demand is drastically up.

Ken McGurran - Turkey Basket Drive Organizer: “We definitely had more of a turnout this year from people requesting baskets than ever before basically, so it kind of overwhelmed us a little bit.”

As a first time organizer of this drive, Ken McGurran says he's blown away by all the people braving the cold this morning, who lined up outside the door for at least an hour.

Ken McGurran - Turkey Basket Drive Organizer: “The gravity didn't really set in until we're sitting here with all this food and streams of people are coming through. Basically it's just really kind of a shock.”

The group raised 20 thousand dollars to buy supplies to give meals to families who otherwise might not get a nice, warm meal. Students from NDSU's Mortar Board came to help their sister chapter with the extra need.

Kelsey Wolfe - NDSU Chapter President: “Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks and being here to help those who aren't able to provide all this for their families. It's a great way to just let them know that you can still provide and do good for your family.”

Aside from receiving a turkey today, families that came out also received bags that had things like corn, cranberry sauce, and stuffing.

Courtney Euscher - Mortar Board Treasurer: “I think it's a great way experience for both those in the community and us because we get to help people who really need it and it's just great.”

But the work doesn't stop here.

Ken McGurran - Turkey Basket Drive Organizer: “Due to the greater need from the community this year we are still a little behind in our fund raising goal, so we're still looking for donations to help us feed all the families we possibly can.”