Concerned For The Hungry provides Thanksgiving Baskets to those in need

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Andrew Gnoinski Jr., still remembers the first time he gave Thanksgiving baskets to people in need in Schenectady County 40 years ago.

"This older woman, I could tell her coat was patched, and she was needy, she had me hand all the stuff out of the box to her over the table because she was putting it in one of those shopping carts. When I got done doing that, she leaned over and kissed me and said thank you very much, and I still get choked up," Gnoinski said.

Gnoinski is a volunteer for the non-profit organization, Concerned For The Hungry. Since 1979, the organization has held its annual Thanksgiving food drive to provide families in need with the essentials for a nice holiday meal.

"We serve a whole basket of food, turkey, all the vegetables and everything so the family can take that home and cook it in their house with their family," he said. "There is enough food that they will probably eat leftovers for three or four more days."

It is a multi-day operation to get the baskets ready for distribution, and it takes donations, the Regional Food Bank, and an army of volunteers to make it happen.

This year, the group was at the William C. Keane Elementary School giving out baskets to over a thousand families.

"We are dealing with inflation with grocery prices all over, and supply chain issues. This year is more important than ever because everyone is struggling to get the things they need," said Kelsey Carr, co-chair of the event.