HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. As Thanksgiving approaches, not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to cook a large celebratory dinner. Thats where local organizations like the Hastings Community Center come in.
I believe that small communities should take care of their own people, said Bill Finkeldey, the director of the youth advocate program in Hastings.
Finkeldey, who has worked with the program for the past 29 years, helps run the food pantry in the community center. The pantry accepts donations year round, but Finkeldey does acknowledge that Thanksgiving is a bit different.
There will probably be between 12 and 15 turkey dinners coming out of here for turkey day next week, he said. We usually dont take perishable foods, but this is also a special time of the year.
The community center also coordinates with other local groups to help collect donations from residents.
We have a situation where the kids in each grade up at Hillside School collect canned goods and then we go and pick them up, Finkeldey said. The girls scouts will sit outside A&P and put a list up of things they might need for people going in to drop off a donation.
Regardless of the time of year or the family in need, the food pantry is always open to those who need it.
Some families come more often and for some families this is a supplement, Finkeldey said. Our rule is take what you need and its nice to be able to say that.
Hastings Mayor Peter Swiderski echoed Finkeldeys comments in a message to residents detailing what many have to be thankful for during the holiday season.
In this Thanksgiving season, its a great moment to pause and give thanks for the benefits we enjoy, whether good health, the love of our families, the food on the table, Swiderski said in the message.
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