41st annual Thanksgiving Food Drive underway in Schenectady County

Emily De Vito
Updated: November 19, 2020 02:10 PM
Created: November 19, 2020 12:07 PM

SCHENECTADY – The next few days will be busy for the nonprofit Concerned for the Hungry. The organization works to fight hunger in Schenectady County and this year is its 41st annual Thanksgiving Food Drive.

Volunteers began to mask up and socially distance on Wednesday to assemble more than 2,000 boxes for families in Schenectady County. They started to receive the food Thursday that will go in those boxes. It is donated from places such as Schoharie Valley Farms and the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.

"We'll walk around and create islands of food," explained Larry Lewis with Concerned for the Hungry. "There might be an island of stuffing, there might be an island of potatoes, there might be an island of carrots, and then on Saturday people will take an empty box walk around with a cart, and they'll go station to station putting an item in each box."

Community members that signed up for the boxes will be able to pick them up on Sunday at Keane Elementary on Albany Street by driving through and popping open their trunks. Organizers said volunteers are essential to keeping the operation running.

"We have volunteers that come back year after year, and we always have new volunteers that join us as well," explained Kelsey Carr with Concerned for the Hungry. "We just love that everybody gets to come together and focus on bringing everyone together for the holiday."

New this year, they enlisted help to deliver the food baskets to those who cannot make it to the elementary school.

"There's probably close to 100 families that will get their box delivered by uniform fire, police, county workers," said Lewis.

While the organization expected to be making more food baskets than ever this year due to the pandemic, they said that is not the case. A big part of that is because they had people sign-up online for the basket's since holding in-person sign-ups during the pandemic would not be safe.

"A lot of the community we serve, they may not have a computer," explained Lewis. "The simplest things we take for granted to sign-up on a computer, and we're aware of that, and we did the best we could. Our numbers are down."

MORE INFORMATION: Concerned for the Hungry

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