SCRANTON — Some of the contents of those hundreds of feed a friend buckets and boxes all over our area wind up here at the St. John Neumann Parish in south Scranton. That’s where a few dozen volunteers dive in and make the piles of food into all the fixings for a Thanksgiving meal.
This food goes to some 1,500 families in Lackawanna County who have signed up with United Neighborhood Centers in Scranton. We met some first-time families who have been hit hard by the economy.
“I guess good, but, not good in a way too, you know? Everyone needs a little help these days,” said Carol Camacho of Scranton.
Camacho’s husband is out of work. For her, this means less stress this holiday season. No matter the reason for being here, those getting meals said the donations will definitely make Thanksgiving more special.
“It helps a lot, because if I don’t have to buy a turkey I can use that for something else,” said Camacho.
Volunteers here said the type of family they are helping has changed. More working families who said serving a Thanksgiving meal is getting harder and harder to afford.
“We just notice that there is still a large need in the community. A lot of people when they come in and meet with us we are seeing that they are struggling because of the economy. Gas prices and of course food prices are going up,” said Jill Moyle, of United Neighborhood Centers.
Folks at United Neighborhood Centers said that may be why donations in their feed a friend buckets were down slightly from last year. But, the organization was able to feed just as many families as last year.
“It’s a benefit, and it’s a blessing for us since we have a lot of kids in the household. So it’s nice and it’s very helpful,” said John Dimauro of Scranton.