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Food donations sought for Almeda fire survivor holiday dinners

A team of first-responders and local businesses will serve special ham and turkey dinners to Almeda fire survivors. [Mail Tribune file photo]

Local police and firefighters are asking Southern Oregonians to open their pantries over the next week as they gear up to serve holiday meals to thousands of Rogue Valley fire survivors.

A team of first-responders and local businesses will serve special ham and turkey dinners to between 300 and 400 families still displaced after Almeda and South Obenchain fires, or enough meals for roughly 2,400 people, according to a release from Medford Fire Department.

The team — comprised of Medford Fire, Jackson County Fire Districts 3 and 5, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, John L. Scott, Guild Mortgage and Country Financial Trey Berkey Agency — has already raised about $30,000 to cover the costs of purchasing pre-cooked turkeys and hams for sheltered fire survivors lacking stoves, ovens and kitchen space.

What’s still needed before Dec. 21 are these specific nonperishable foods that will go into the dinners:

  • Gravy mix packets
  • Canned sweet potatoes
  • Stuffing mixes in boxes or bags
  • Vegetable or chicken broth in cans or boxes
  • Bisquick baking mix
  • Crispy fried onion strings
  • Cream of mushroom soup cans
  • Canned Cranberry sauce
  • Canned corn, peas or green beans
  • Canned pears, peaches or fruit cocktail
  • Boxes of cake mix
  • Canned frosting
  • Canned pie filling
  • Non-refrigerated pie crusts or pie crust mixes

Donations can be dropped off at Medford Fire Station 3, 534 Highland Drive in Medford; Fire District 3 Administrative building, 8383 Agate Road in White City; Fire District 5, 5811 S. Pacific Highway in Phoenix or the John L. Scott office at 71 Medford Center in Medford.

Cash donations will also be accepted to purchase ingredients for the meals, and locals can donate via Venmo to @firehousefive.