It's hard to picture Thanksgiving Day without the typical Thanksgiving feast. But in Montgomery County, more people than ever can't afford the traditional meal. As YNN's Maria Valvanis explains, one charity is making sure everyone is fed this holiday season.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, N.Y. -- Students from the St. Mary's Institute stopped by Catholic Charities to help prepare some special packages.
"I feel like I'm really making a difference helping people in need," said one student.
"What we're trying to do is set up baskets for Thanksgiving. We give them what is needed for that dinner," said Program Coordinator Blanca Tristani.
Items like stuffing, cranberry sauce and the students’ personal touch, pretzel M&Ms.
Joaquin Pasco said, "They get to have a good time with their family and a proper dinner."
More than 100 people will benefit from their efforts. Even though the charity is used to keeping stomachs full through their food pantry, they say the work load is getting bigger.
"The numbers have gone up over the past year. The need is growing," said John Nasso, Executive Director.
And with more than 3,000 people at risk of going hungry, the charity isn't just busy making baskets, but also preparing for the food pantry's busiest season.
Tristani said, "Starting in the beginning of November through the end of December, those few months are very, very busy."
The charity will also make Christmas baskets and start their annual food drive.
"For every dollar, we can get eight dollars worth of food, so if we raise $10,000, we can purchase $80,000 worth of food," said Nasso.
Pasco said, "It makes me happy because those that don't get to eat get to enjoy good food."
If you'd like to donate to the charity's food drive, you can send checks made out to Catholic Charities of Fulton and Montgomery County, to 1 Kimball St., Amsterdam, N.Y. 12010.