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City Mission of Schenectady holds a free picnic for the community

July 03, 2019 11:11 PM

SCHENECTADY – As people around the Capital Region prepare for barbecues and a day in the sun to celebrate Independence Day, others celebrated it early.

The City Mission of Schenectady held its annual picnic Wednesday night for its residents as well as for community members. Everyone was able to eat for free.

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"It is a day of celebration,” said Michael Saccosio the Executive Director of the City Mission of Schenectady. “We bring our struggles as well, but that's what families do."

The mission planned to serve more than 500 meals.

"We all look forward to Fourth of July barbecues,” said Saccosio. “The sitting in the shade or out in the sun and a lot of people we serve, there is no green space. We really wanted to have them come here so they also could experience a picnic."

The picnic was held at the park right across from City Mission. Community members said the cook out is a chance for people to connect with each other.

"For people it means very much that they have somebody from the community to talk to and have a lot of time on their hands to come talk to people and enjoy themselves,” said Mae Thomas who volunteers at the shelter.

The event is put on entirely by volunteers from different groups, including Northway Church. Before the picnic was set up they brought meals to seniors who live in low income housing. Volunteer Josey Dorr said it’s the interaction with the community she loves most.

"For the grace of god we would be in this situation and they just need a hand up not just a hand out they just need somebody to believe in them,” said Dorr. “Seeing kids who will serve them and help them with their children makes them feel connected and they're not less than."

While the City Mission of Schenectady appreciated the donated food for the event, as summer gets underway, Saccosio said they could use more food donations.

"Meals actually go up in the summer,” explained Saccosio “For two reasons first of all kids are home from school they don't have access to school meals. It's lighter later in the evening, more people can walk, the weather is better.”

Saccosio said they’re also looking for donations of camping supplies, such as beach towels and sleeping bags. He said they send a lot of children to camp for the summer.

Credits

Emily De Vito

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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