Shortly after Robert Painter put the grocery list on Facebook, he received a donation of six giant cans of green beans.
Painter has seen this type of generosity every year from volunteers who help with an annual Thanksgiving meal delivery event for people affected by HIV and AIDS.
The event is hosted by Other Options, an Oklahoma City organization that provides food, resources and education to people who have HIV and AIDS and also to their families.
For its Thanksgiving meal delivery, the organization will need volunteers to prepare food and deliver the meals. It also needs food donations.
This year, volunteers are expected to make 180 stops to deliver about 500 meals to clients and their families across Oklahoma City and the surrounding area.
Painter said that number is significant when you consider that, in 2002, the group made 30 stops to deliver 125 meals.
“It’s beautiful that so many people show up to help, but it’s just heartbreaking that that number has grown so much in a short time,” Painter said.
Volunteers are needed Tuesday and Nov. 21 to cook and prepare the meals at Urban Agrarian, 1235 SW 2.
On Thanksgiving Day, volunteers will deliver the meals from Urban Agrarian, starting delivery at 9 a.m.
Anyone interested in volunteering any of those days can call Painter, who owns the Iguana Mexican Grill restaurant, at 608-0600.
The organization also needs donations of finished stuffing, canned corn, canned green beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, finished gravy, cranberry sauce, pies, whipped topping, rolls, butter, bacon, salt, pepper, chicken stock and milk. The organization regularly updates its grocery list of needed food on its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OtherOptions.
People can drop off donations at Iguana Mexican Grill, 9 NW 9; Iguana Cafe, 6482 Avondale Drive; or Other Options, 3636 NW 51.
Any of the food donated that isn’t used will be used at Other Options’ Friends Food Pantry, which provides food, nutrition formula and toiletries to more than 1,200 adults and children monthly.
Mary Arbuckle, Other Options executive director, said to qualify for Other Options’ services, a person must have low or no income.
Other Options’ clients are at poverty level, and about one-fourth do not have health insurance.
The Thanksgiving meals are likely the only meal that Other Options’ clients and their families will have that day, Arbuckle said.
“For some of them, that’s the only person they’re going to see, so we make sure when they go out that they really give them a smile and wish them a happy Thanksgiving because, for a lot of them, that’s their only meal, and that’s the only face they’ll see,” Arbuckle said.