Cheney Free Press -

By Roger Harnack

Donation allows Cheney Food Bank to hand out turkeys


Last updated 11/27/2019 at 10:24am

CHENEY – A regional effort to provide a Thanksgiving meal to indigent residents is feeding more than 100 local families this holiday.

The 2nd Harvest Tom’s Turkey Drive will feed more than 11,000 families in the region, officials said. That includes families who were expected to line up Tuesday at the Cheney Food Bank, 624 3rd St., to pick up their meals.

Approximately 60 individuals and 64 families were scheduled to pick up turkey and all the trimmings, 30-year volunteer John Matthews said.

Mathews and Jerry Stewart were on hand Monday when a 2nd Harvest truck arrived with the turkeys, milk, stuffing, potatoes, apples, canned goods and more.

“We’re an extension of Tom’s Turkey Drive,” Stewart said, noting the 2nd Harvest drop-off here helps indigent families avoid having to buy gas and travel into Spokane for assistance during the holiday week.

The duo expected about a half-dozen workers to hand out all the meals between 9 a.m. and noon Tuesday.

Single adults were to receive 2-pound turkey roasts, while larger families were to receive the whole bird.

According to Matthews, the turkey roasts were purchased locally; 2nd Harvest provided the larger meals.

Looking back, Matthews said the local need has leveled off since about 2009.

“We’re staying right about 64,” he said.

But there is always need, even after Thanksgiving.

The Cheney Food Bank does not provide a meal for Christmas, Stewart said, adding that families still come in to pick up staples, meat, milk and more.

Protein is among the most sought-after items, he said, suggesting anyone interested may donate canned meats, chili, beans, soups and peanut butter.

Meat in plastic wrap and homemade goods are not allowed for donation, he said. Monetary donations are also accepted.

The food bank is generally open from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays.

Roger Harnack can be reached at


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