Helping Those in Need at Easter

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SCRANTON, Pa. -- About 5,000 people will be fed this Easter through a program in Lackawanna County at a time when donations to food banks typically decrease.

The Easter Bunny's first stop in northeastern Pennsylvania is in on Mifflin Avenue a few days before the holiday. His helpers are dozens of volunteers from Friends of the Poor.

Families in need can apply to receive two different types of Easter baskets -- the traditional kind that the bunny prepares and a figurative Easter basket with everything needed for a holiday meal.

"Poverty never really rests. It's present year-round, so we like to be there for our clients, for anyone who needs help, as often and as much as we can. Easter is something that not a ton of other agencies have programs for. There are others, obviously, but we just try to make sure we're still filling a need as the weather breaks. You're not really thinking about how cold it is in winter, but there's still the need," said Meghan Loftus, Friends of the Poor.

Friends of the Poor expects to feed 5,000 people for Easter.

"I mean, we are on public assistance. Unfortunately, it's not really enough for Easter, so having this help, it means the world to us. It really does. And to help with Easter baskets, that's even better for the kids," said Ruth Taylor.

Friends of the Poor gauges the need off Christmas gifts they give away at Christmas. So this year, they reached out to local businesses looking for 2,100 Easter baskets.

"It makes my life a little easier. It makes them happy. That's all that matters," Missandra Kennedy said.

All that matters is that family is together, but Friends of the Poor provides the fixings.

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