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Published November 20, 2011, 06:27 PM

UND Mortar Board Turkey Baskets in High Demand

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Thanksgiving spirit was felt across Grand Forks. After gathering boxes and cans of food, UND students handed out full dinners to more than 1,200 people in need.

By: Stacie Van Dyke, WDAZ

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Thanksgiving spirit was felt across Grand Forks. After gathering boxes and cans of food, UND students handed out full dinners to more than 1,200 people in need.

For the past 32 years, members of UND's Mortar Board have collected donations to feed families in need on Thanksgiving, but this year, demand is drastically up.

“We definitely had more of a turnout this year from people requesting baskets than ever before basically, so it kind of overwhelmed us a little bit,” turkey basket driver organizer Ken McGurran said.

As a first time organizer of this drive, Ken McGurran says he's blown away by all the people braving the cold this morning, who lined up outside the door for at least an hour.

“The gravity didn't really set in until we're sitting here with all this food and streams of people are coming through. Basically it's just really kind of a shock,” McGurran said.

The group raised $20,000 to buy supplies to give meals to families who otherwise might not get a nice, warm meal. Students from NDSU's Mortar Board came to help their sister chapter with the extra need.

“Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks and being here to help those who aren't able to provide all this for their families. It's a great way to just let them know that you can still provide and do good for your family,” NDSU chapter president Kelsey Wolfe said.

Aside from receiving a turkey today, families that came out also received bags that had things like corn, cranberry sauce, and stuffing.

“I think it's a great way experience for both those in the community and us because we get to help people who really need it and it's just great,” Mortar Board treasurer Courtney Euscher said.

But the work doesn't stop here.

“Due to the greater need from the community this year we are still a little behind in our fund raising goal, so we're still looking for donations to help us feed all the families we possibly can,” McGurran said.

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