Giving Back

Flood Of Donations Inspires Somers Holiday Food Drive Organizer

Food drive volunteer Anthony Reda with Dennis from Acme. Credits: Photo courtesy of Theresa Reda

SOMERS, N.Y. - After a successful Thanksgiving food drive, Somers has once again displayed their generosity.

The annual holiday food drive at St. Luke’s Church provided food and gifts to 70 families in need.

Individuals, clubs and local businesses worked together to make this year’s food drive one of the most impressive showings yet. Theresa Reda-- who organized the Thanksgiving and holiday food drives alongside Kristen Rigaglia-- was floored by the outpouring of contributions on both occasions.

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“We did so well with the Thanksgiving drive that we had food left over,” Reda said.

Acme Supermarket donated 40 bags of groceries. The Somers Women’s Club volunteered to help sort out the donations. Many groups volunteered to “adopt” families in need, including Girl Scout troops and Somers High School falculty and staff.

There was also a band of retired Somers teachers who volunteered and helped organize the event with Reda and Rigaglia.

“They’re the ones who run the operation,” Reda said.

Kay Staplin, a retired teacher, was instrumental in reaching out to businesses for donations. “She’s a driving force,” Reda said of Staplin.

Other contributing organizations include the YMCA, Houlihan Lawrence, the SHS Human Rights Club, SMS sports teams and the Lions Club.

“It’s really gotten to be a community effort,” Reda said. When she first began the food drive, there were just 12 families in need. That number has grown to 70.

Those groups who adopt families recieve the family’s “wish list,” which can include not only food, but toys and warm clothes. Food drive organizers were surprised by the wide variety of items that were donated: household items, cribs, strollers, game systems and even laptops.

Theresa Reda shared that before every food drive, there is always a small amount of uncertainty over whether or not she and her team will be able to adequately provide for the families in need, and so this year’s flood of donations was very inspiring.

“It’s incredible what we got. People are so overwhelmingly generous,” she said.

The contributions have continued to come in even after the official food drive ended. Reda pointed out that once the holiday season is over, there will still be families in need of food, and she encourages anyone who still wants to donate groceries or gift cards to do so. The pantry is located at St. Luke’s Church, 331 Route 100.

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