DURANGO As Durangoans begin to break out their family recipes and search for the perfect turkey, one local business is working hard to send holiday meals overseas.
Durango Antique Market has joined forces with Blue Star Mothers, a nonprofit organization of mothers who have or have had children serving in the military, to assemble holiday meals for the troops.
We were just trying to do something no one else in the Four Corners has ever done, said Penni Neiberger, a longtime employee at Durango Antique Market.
Neiberger said she came up with the idea to collect food donations when she read about a similar project being done in Wibaux, Mont.
Inspired by the story, Neiberger brought the idea to Nikki Morrissey, who owns Durango Antique Market, and the two decided to implement the project in Durango.
Neiberger and Morrissey are requesting donations of nonperishable food items that will help give men and women overseas a holiday meal.
The troops out in the field dont get a Thanksgiving, Neiberger said.
Each package, which will contain items such as dried stuffing mix, canned turkey and instant mashed potatoes, should feed between three to four people and hopefully will feed troops during Christmas and New Years as well as Thanksgiving, Neiberger said.
While the local chapter of Blue Star Mothers is helping with shipping, each package will cost about $12.50 to ship, so cash donations are being accepted to offset the expense, she said.
Neibergers son has been in the Marine Corps for more than 20 years and will retire in August, she said.
Morrissey also has family members who are active in the military, as do others involved in the business, Neiberger said, so the project is close to home.
It affects everyone in one way or another, she said.
These items will make a holiday meal for three or four people that can be prepared in the field by U.S. troops serving overseas:
1 box of dry whipped topping mix
1 box of no-bake pumpkin pie dessert
1 9-inch tin aluminum pie pan
1 box of dried stuffing mix
1 package of instant mashed potatoes
1 quart-sized box of milk
1 16 oz. can of candied yams
1 12 oz. jar of marshmallow topping
1 14 oz. can of corn or other vegetable
1 package of cornbread or biscuit mix
1 package of dried turkey or chicken gravy
1 package of butter-flavored shortening
1 can of turkey or chicken
Cash donations also are appreciated.
Donations can be dropped off at Durango Antique Market, 600 East Second Ave., through Dec. 17. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, email Jill Coddington, president of Blue Star Mothers, at [email protected]