Copake Christmas dinner leads to large donation |

Copake Christmas dinner leads to large donation

Kumi Tucker
Updated: February 08, 2021 07:04 PM
Created: February 08, 2021 05:43 PM

NewsChannel 13 first met Colleen Unden in December, as she got ready for a big free community Christmas takeout dinner, prepared at Dad's Copake Diner, where she's a waitress. 

Donations cover the cost of the meals, and Unden promised that any money left over would go to the local food pantry. 

So we came back for an update. 

Even though they served hundreds of people, the community was very generous and a LOT was left over. $6,000 went to the Roe Jan Food Pantry on Route 23 in Hillsdale. 

"It means we can keep these shelves stocked," said the food pantry's Betty White. 

The food pantry is a lifeline for some local families. They come here once a month, or more, to stock up. 

White says there is a need, as they see from "blessings boxes" at local churches. 
"We find those are constantly getting emptied out and what we'd like people to know is they can come to us once a week, if needed, and leave that for emergency-type situation," said White. 

White says $6,000 will go a long way at the food pantry. 

It's seeing a lot of new people, new families. 

"This community has been very, very generous, and especially during COVID. I mean, our budget is so much higher than it's ever been," said White. 

What they'd really like is to do away with any stigma attached to asking for help. 

"And if we can find a way to breach that, to make people not feel ashamed to have to ask for help, then that's where we really start helping people, I think," said Unden.  

The Roe Jan food pantry is open every Friday from 10 until 12, and other times by appointment. 

Roe Jan Food Pantry 
2684 Route 23 
Hillsdale, NY 
Betty White (518) 441-2789 
Vernetta Moore (413) 446-9431


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