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People again line up for Bethlehem Temple food distribution

WHEELING — Ohio Valley residents in need will get to have a nice turkey dinner this week thanks to the Bethlehem Apostolic Temple’s annual Thanksgiving Food Basket Giveaway held Saturday.

Dozens of cars lined Main Street in North Wheeling for their turn to pull in behind the North Wheeling Community Dream Center to receive a free turkey, vegetables, fruits and all the other fixings needed to make a tasty dinner at home.

The giveaway is organized annually by the Rev. Darrell Cummings, pastor of Bethlehem Apostolic Temple in North Wheeling.

Cummings said he was happy to see more than 50 volunteers show up to help distribute the food. In addition to community residents, members of the Wheeling Fire Department and Ohio County Sheriff’s Department also helped load boxes into people’s vehicles and direct traffic on the busy Main Street.

In addition to food being given away, volunteers from the Free Bike Depot of Center Wheeling were also on hand giving away children’s bikes to anyone in line who wanted one.

While waiting for their turn, the people in line expressed thanks for the free food.

“This is great what they’re doing for the community. We appreciate what they’re doing,” said Wheeling resident Joseph Liddle.

Gary Hercules of Wheeling added, “I’m glad they’ve done it.”

Cummings said compared to the Easter Food Basket Giveaway last spring, the number of volunteers for this event was much more, which is something he was thrilled with.

“I think it’s going well. … We’re doing our best to help as many people as we can,” he said.

Cummings used his booming voice to keep the line of cars moving and the process a well-oiled machine. The giveaway annually attracts anywhere from 200 to 500 people. It has cost as much as $10,000 to put on.

Cummings said later via his social media that, according to the event’s sign-in records, about 475 people would be fed thanks to the giveaway.

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