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Basket Brigade feeding 20,000 needy people this Thanksgiving

CHARLESTON,S.C. (WCIV) - The CharlestonBasket Brigade has made it their mission to feed as many people as possible onThanksgiving.

On Tuesday, hundreds ofvolunteers packed thousands of boxes full of turkey, dinner rolls and pie. Allof the food will be delivered to families in need on Thanksgiving Day.

All day long empty boxes werepushed to the beginning of an assembly line that was filled, can by can,package by package, and turkey by turkey until the boxes are stuffed.

"We keep it organized becauseevery year we learn from mistakes of the past, we add, we improve it and makeit better, and really we have a great system," said Pam Hartley, the cofounderof Charleston Basket Brigade.

Hartley says in the sixth yearof giving, organizers expect at least 3,000 Lowcountry families to gobble upthe boxed feast.

"It wasn't until that westarted assembling the boxes yesterday that it really hit home how manyfamilies are going to be impacted by this. I mean you hear 3,000 but you don'tunderstand it until you see it," said Kim Taylor, a volunteer this year.

Taylor is one of 200 volunteers who signed upin advance to help with the Basket Brigade. Taylor's job is to finish the box with themost important part of the meal - the turkey.

"This is what gives you thewarm and fuzzies when you can be in the middle of the community and reallygive," she said.

Hartley says it cost about$100,000 to feed 20,000 people. She said BiLo stepped in as a food supplierwhen a former sponsor stepped down.

"This is what we do in theneighborhood," said Rusty Streetman, the regional vice president of storeoperations for BiLo. "We're a neighborhood grocer; we've been in the Charleston area for morethan 35 years. We believe in giving back to the community."

Each meal will be delivered toa family the same day it is packaged.

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