SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — We are still in a critical part of the pandemic where people continue to need help and people who have been in need before COVID-19.
Friends of the Poor and the Family-To-Family Food Basket programs are returning. These programs each year help thousands of people and families in need in the area.
Last year’s Friends of the Poor Thanksgiving distribution outside the Scranton Cultural Center provided 3,000 hot meals. This year, they’re anticipating an uptick as they’re once again doing take-out.
“Looking back and then looking at today it’s just this huge growth and to see the community and the neighborhood step up and make this happen is amazing,” said Friends of the Poor operations manager Brady Funkhouser.
Friends of the Poor and the Robeson family announced its Thanksgiving community program Wednesday. It will kick off on Friday, November 19th with an interfaith prayer service ahead of its November 23rd Thanksgiving dinner giveaway at the cultural center, ending with the Family to Family Food Basket Program on November 24th at the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Scranton.
“Expecting to feed a little bit more families than we typically have to because of the increase need,” said Family to Family Food Basket Program organizer and donor Ryan Robeson.
The Robeson family has purchased $150,000 in food. It will help feed 3,500 families more than last year.
“A lot of it is the supply chain, you know it’s harder to get some of the products we want and especially we are increasing our numbers by another 500 you know, we have the added expense of that,” said Family to Family Food Basket Program organizer and donor Linda Robeson.
The Robeson family budgeted an added expense of $25,000. Donations for both the Friends of the Poor and Family to Family Food Basket Program rely on donations not just Thanksgiving but Christmas, Easter, and food giveaways throughout the year.
“We obviously want to make sure that we have everything that we always do. You know, the turkey, the pie, potatoes, and but yes we do need a little extra money this year,” said Linda.
“We’re probably best known for the Thanksgiving events and the Thanksgiving community program but we are here year-round offering many many services to people in need,” said Brady
To learn how to donate and you can volunteer visit the Friends of the Poor website.