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Thanksgiving For the Needy: Soup Kitchens and Food Pantries

How local volunteer organizations help the hungry on Thanksgiving

For some, Thanksgiving doesn't always conjure up images of 20 pound turkeys and heaping piles of stuffing.

Each November, Rockland soup kitchens and food pantries kick into full gear to serve the county's struggling, hungry and financially strained. Here's a look at some of the volunteers that are helping the less fortunate stay full this holiday season.

Soup Angels, Nyack

is a volunteer organization based in Nyack that serves Rockland's hungry. The group has a five year pedigree, and is currently preparing for another Thanksgiving feast.

"This will be our fifth "Come to the Table Thanksgiving Feast," said Marie Lorenzini, who runs Soup Angels, who is hosting this year's dinner tonight.

"Anyone can walk in no problem," Lorenzini explained. "Want a meal? You got a meal."

Soup Angels—which provides dinner for between 40 and 50 people each Wednesday of the year—generally feeds about 200 people during their Thanksgiving meal. Beyond that, the organization packs up food and supplies for hundreds of other families at home.

Beyond the impressive ambience (Soup Angels always decks out its homebase, the , for the holidays), the food and variety are plentiful.

"We have turkey, sweet potatoes, vegetables, corn bread, stuffing and gravy," Lorenzini explained. Soup Angels also has drinks and desserts.

The successful holiday meal is a result of generous residents, Lorenzini explained.

"We have a benefactor, but it goes beyond that," she said. "If it weren't for the contributions from all the community members, there's no way we could take care of these people."

Additionally, people donate china and silverware, and volunteers work in two hour shifts throughout the day.

"Without the public, we couldn'd do this every year," Lorenzini added.

People to People, Nanuet

People to People—a Nanuet-based food charity that serves all of Rockland—takes a different approach but sees the same results.

"We don't serve prepared meals," explained Diane Serratore, the group's executive director. " [Instead], we provide our clients with groceries so they can make dinner and meals at home."

People to People provides the needy with essential groceries regularly, but ups the ante come Thanksgiving.

"Basically we provide turkey and all the trimming for Thanksgiving," Serratore said. "We make sure everyone gets served quickly and with dignity."

Currently, the group is seeking donations.

"We've got another 400 families helping between [Monday] and Wednesday afternoon," Serratore said. "We're still looking for contribution turkey, stuffing potatoes and canned vegetables."

"And remember, people still need to eat the day after Thanksgiving," Serratore added. People to People will continue to distribute eats right after the holiday and into the New Year.

Trude Bouton November 16, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Hi, my name is Trude. I am interested to help on Thanksgiving in any soup kitchen to serve meals, but I need information where to find them. My e-mail is tsbouton@optonline.net Thank you for your reply

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