OSWEGO, NY – Oswego firefighters continued their annual tradition of assisting the Human Concerns Center on East Fourth Street to help those less fortunate at Thanksgiving.
On Tuesday, they helped provide a holiday meal basket for more than 240 area families.
“The firemen are a great help to us every year,” said Deb Deeb, Director of the Human Concerns Center. “They made a very generous donation to help us purchase turkeys and other items for the meal. And, today they are here helping us to box up everything and help people carry it out.”
“This is something we do every year. We enjoy helping out,” said John Geraci, president of the local firefighters’ association. “Some of the guys here have been volunteering for several years.”
Nearly two dozen off duty firefighters were joined by many of their retired brothers Tuesday.
Besides the firefighters, there were several other groups who helped to make the program a success, according to Judi Knopp, food director at Human Concerns.
“Every year we try to have enough food for a full course holiday meal for up to 250 families,” she told Oswego County Today. “This year, we will be serving around 240 families. That’s about the same as the last couple of years.”
Demand on the food pantry, however, has increased 25 percent over last year, she added.
Depending on the size of the family, the size (and weight) of the food basket may vary, Knopp pointed out.
“That’s why we appreciate the firemen’s help to carry the boxes out to their vehicle,” she said.
Knopp said she’d like to thank everyone who donated to ensure people would have a traditional Thanksgiving meal.
“Fruit Valley, Ontario Orchards, Gianetto Farms, Ferlito Farms and C’s Farms provide us with the produce. Bosco’s provides us with the turkeys,” she said. “We are very grateful to all of them for donating.”
“I’d like to thank Human Concerns for helping us,” said one recipient who wished to remain anonymous. “They help everyone. I hope the community continues to support them because there are a lot of people that need help.”