Family to Family Feeds Thousands

SCRANTON, Pa. -- Thousands of turkeys and all the trimmings were handed out Wednesday in downtown Scranton.

The annual Family to Family food distribution is a family affair, whether you're there to give or receive.

As the youngest of 11 kids, Brian Williams of Scranton feels right at home in the organized chaos of the annual Family to Family Thanksgiving food distribution at the Scranton Cultural Center.

"This is my favorite week of the year, by the way, because there's no gifts exchanged. It's just spending time, quality time, with people in our community and everyone's at the same level," Williams said.

Williams is one of Family to Family's longest-running volunteers, part of a dedicated team doling out Thanksgiving meals to thousands each year on the day before the holiday.

"I'm in awe just looking around the room right now, not only the people who are receiving but the people that are giving, they're also receiving something today. I get the chills thinking about it."

For many of the volunteers, Family to Family day is like a meeting of old friends -- a chance to catch up over the past year and also fall right back into the roles they've all held for decades.

"There's no schedule, everyone knows their job after all these years, and everybody just does it. We rely on each other. It's a family affair," said Chris DiMatteo.

"You don't have to have any instructions. People show up, and they're like, 'I'm just going to start doing this, and it just gets done," said Family to Family's Linda Robeson.

Over the course of the day, Family to Family will give out turkeys and trimmings to more than 3,000 families in the region.

And the volunteers who keep it all running say without a doubt, they'll be back next year.

"A lot of people say that they started when they were in high school coming, and now, they're bringing their children. That's what makes it so nice, too. It really is a generational thing," Robeson added.

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