Helping Hands for the Holidays

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SCRANTON -- With less than one week until the Christmas holiday the Friends of the Poor is reaching out to lend a hand to those in need in Lackawanna County.

This year, the organization is helping spread holiday cheer for more families than usual.

Hundreds turned out to Lackawanna College to bag up some fresh food - ham, potatoes, fresh produce - at the Friends of the Poor's annual holiday food distribution.

Sister Ann Walsh said they will feed about 1,000 families. That's 200 more than last year.

“We expected an overflowing crowd and we have it, There’s a lot of need out there this year,” said Sister Walsh.

“It seems like it’s getting bigger and bigger as years progress. I mean there’s more people out of work as everybody knows, and there’s people that had less funds than they had before,” said James London of Scranton.

London said the Friends of the Poor helps him put a holiday meal on the table for his grandkids, making the day one to celebrate with his family.

“This is great, this helps a lot, saves me money from spending that, money I don’t have,” said London.

The Friends of the Poor said it’s going to cost them about $30,000 to fill all of the bags. They said they’ll find a way to pay the bills and they won’t be turning anyone away.

“We plan this for the whole year, that we’re going to have our Christmas food giveaway and we know that we have an order to place, and because of the generosity of so many people, we’re able to place the order and hopefully pay the bills,” said Sister Walsh.

For now, the volunteers are focusing on making this holiday a bright one.

“I try to keep a cheerful smile and do what I can to get them through the process, get a smile on their face,” said Willia York, a volunteer.