SOMERS, N.Y.-Dozens of local families enjoyed a bountiful Thanksgiving meal thanks to the generosity and hard work of Somers community groups and volunteers.

On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, volunteers arrived early in the morning in the basement of St. Luke’s Church, home of the Somers Food Pantry, to set up long fold-out tables and fill them with non-perishable food items: boxes of cereal and pasta, canned vegetables, juices and hot chocolate packets. Many families in Somers rely on these staples for their holiday meal—a fact which may come as a surprise to those who regard Somers as an affluent town in one of the wealthiest counties in the United States.

According to Theresa Reda, a food pantry coordinator and social worker at Primrose Elementary, the number of people who frequent the food drive has been on the rise.

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Twenty-five years ago, when the charity first began, only 12 families made use of the service. This year, 68 families received holiday gift baskets, which included grocery store gift cards. The baskets also included decorative holiday trays, soaps, aprons and napkins from Michel Design Works in Somers. Reda has been leading food drive efforts every year, along with fellow social worker Kristen Rigaglia.

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