After receiving some offerings from two donors, the Community Market of Pottawatomie County was able to pass along hundreds of hams, turkeys and other food items just in time for the holidays.

After receiving some offerings from two donors, the Community Market of Pottawatomie County was able to pass along hundreds of hams, turkeys and other food items just in time for the holidays.

Community Market Director Daniel Matthews said over the weekend two donors committed to providing more than 300 hams and some turkeys for those who needed them.

Food provider Regional Food Bank sent 20,000 pounds of produce, as well, he said.

The last-minute special giveaway quickly turned into a full-fledged event.

Matthews said figuring in the 227 families who received regular service through the market and all the added donations for distribution, more than 800 people were served Monday.

All told, a weighty tally of food — equaling more than 33,000 pounds — was doled out over the course of the day, he said, the largest number the agency has ever done in one day.

“Bethel Assembly came and made hot dogs for guests while they waited,” Matthews said. “They served more than 500 hot dogs.”

The market ended up distributing 335 hams and turkeys in three hours, he said.

The staff from the market's parking lot neighbor, Legacy Parenting, also came over and helped direct traffic and spread Christmas cheer, he said.

“Today was a great testament to our community,” he said. “Caring friends gave us the tools to make sure many families have something special on their dinner table this Christmas.”

While donations are not uncommon during the holiday season, sometimes the gift of a meal doesn't immediately come to mind as an option.

Hunger is a year-round issue, he said, but even more so around the holidays.

“Not having a ham or turkey for many is a reminder of what they don’t have,” he explained. “For many, having one this year will hopefully be a reminder that there are people who care for them.”

Matthews said he believes it takes community to end hunger and the agency saw that at work Monday. “Caring for people is always the right thing to do,” he said.

After just three years in operation, the Community Market has been recently touted as the largest food service agency in the state.

As such, massive amounts of groceries are regularly required to keep up with the needs coming through the nonprofit's doors.

For those considering options for end-of-year giving, Matthews said donations can be made at ourcommunitymarket.org.

The market will be closed Dec. 24 through 27, and again from Dec. 31 through Jan. 2 for the holidays.

The agency also will shut down the week of Jan. 13 through 17.