Volunteers and donations needed for annual Jimmy Murphey Christmas meal

KANNAPOLIS, NC (WBTV) - The annual Jimmy Murphey Christmas meal distribution will be held on Saturday, December 23, and volunteers and donations are needed.

The program was started in 1932 by a poor mother and her family. It provides a meal for families to prepare, an extra bag of nonperishable groceries, and a pancake breakfast to underprivileged families.

The program began when Jimmy's mother asked for assistance but was denied. Her anger led her and her family to start helping underprivileged families just like their own. She ran the meal distribution until her death in 1968.

Her son Jimmy took over the Christmas tradition and expanded it into the success it is today. Jimmy Murphey became too ill to continue in 2014.

Today, the Jimmy Murphey Christmas Foundation, spearheaded by Josh Young of Cannon Pharmacy, continues Jimmy's mission of providing struggling families with groceries and a meal at Christmas.

In 2016, the program provided 1,000 bags of groceries and served more than 2,000 pancakes.

The foundation is asking for community involvement in any form. Monetary donations can be made by checks written to Cannon Pharmacy. Donations of groceries that will be sent to families or snacks, drinks and food for volunteers also are welcome. To volunteer, text @murpheyvol to 81010.

The meal will be at Living Water Church of God, 166 N. Little Texas Road, Kannapolis, on Dec. 23.

To participate in the canned food drive, email jimmymurpheychristmas@gmail.com.

Organizers expect that double or even triple the number of families will need food this year.

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