“Friends of the Poor” Distributes Most Meals Ever

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In its 27-year history "Friends of the Poor" in Scranton saw the longest lines Tuesday for holiday dinners. Organizers said it is a clear indication of these tough economic times.

Tammy Hudak of Archbald picked up an Easter dinner for her and her three children, a family tradition that's becoming more and more difficult to provide.

"We can have the dinner and everything else, and just be a family together," Hudak said.

Volunteers handed out Easter hams or fixings for whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year. The Easter bunny came early with baskets of candy for families with young children.

"Friends of the Poor" and a team of volunteers hand out meals in Scranton for the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter seasons and each of the past holidays have broken records.

"It's a big eye opener. You realize, 'I don't need all this' and helping people. It feels good," said volunteer Kristy Vancosky.

After running out of dinners last spring, "Friends of the Poor" planned for a few hundred more hams and packs of potatoes thanks to donations from the public.

"I know how hard families are struggling in our community, they're suffering from hunger and food insecurity. So, this is a day that we can reach out and ease the burden of poverty that people are living with and help them lift their spirits and share a meal together," said organizer Sister Ann Walsh.

"Friends of the Poor" expects to feed 1,400 families as a part of the program. The giveaway continues Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.