Cheryl Goss, left, and Deidre Bennett, both from Springfield and members of the Washington Baptist Church, organize bags of groceries. “I was just wanting to do something for the community. I’ve probably done this for the last 4 or 5 years with the church,” Bennett said. (Photo by Jym Wilson)

To read this story, please sign in with your email address and password.

You’ve read all your free stories this month. Subscribe now and unlock unlimited access to our stories, exclusive subscriber content, additional newsletters, invitations to special events, and more.


Imagine the sounds of boxes being opened and bags being filled mixed with the chatter and laughter of 70-plus volunteers as they filled paper sacks with food.

Congregants from seven Springfield area churches and students from Springfield Public School’s BASE (Business Associated Student Education) program gathered in the Central Assembly of God activity center for a morning coordinated by Crosslines, an outreach agency of the Council of Churches of the Ozarks.

A can of fruit cocktail goes into a bag. (Photo by Jym Wilson)

Everything means canned corn and green beans, cranberry sauce, canned soup, canned fruit, stuffing mix, saltine crackers, eggs, bread, potatoes, butter, milk, brownie mix, Jello, and a turkey. Only ingredients not requiring refrigeration were packed on Thursday, with cold items being added at Saturday’s distribution event. How much food a family receives is based on the size of the family.

Deidre Bennett carries bags filled with Thanksgiving dinner fixings to the distribution staging area. (Photo by Jym Wilson)

900 families will receive everything for a Thanksgiving dinner, as well as oatmeal for breakfast and bread for post-dinner sandwiches.

More than half of the recipients will pick up their meal in person, while seniors and shut-ins will have the meal-makings delivered.

Recipients had to sign up in advance so their needs could be anticipated and met. The food was all purchased from the Crosslines/Council of Churches of the Ozark budget.

The meal is one of the largest Thanksgiving food distribution programs in Greene County, according to Bambie Wurzburger, Crosslines volunteer and guest services coordinator.

“Something about the holidays makes people take a second to think about what they’ve got,”

Wurzburger said.

Crosslines/Council of Churches of the Ozarks sponsors various food giveaways throughout the year and is always in need of volunteers. Information can be found at

People interested in volunteering for the Christmas holidays can look online at

Families who qualify for a Christmas meal can sign up in person at Crosslines offices at 3055 E Division Street from November 27 through December 2.

Jym Wilson

Jym Wilson is a veteran photojournalist who has covered a multitude of topics throughout his career. He’s a Vermont native who began his career at the Burlington (VT) Free Press. He worked as a photo editor at USA Today for 18 years, specializing in entertainment coverage. His work has appeared in the Springfield Daily Citizen since the day of its launch in 2022.
Email: More by Jym Wilson