by Bea Peterson
On Friday evening, November 22, it was organized chaos at the HACA Center on lower John Street. Over 40 volunteers, from under 10 to over 80 years old helped pack 176 boxes of Thanksgiving food. They represented the Girl Scouts, Lions Club, Kiwanis Key Club, Hoosick Republican Committee and the Town of Hoosick Rescue Squad. They worked elbow to elbow with the regular Pantry volunteers. [private]And it was elbow to elbow as teams of two, one carrying a box, the other loading it up, wound their way through the building between rows and rows of food stuff. On Friday each box was loaded with seven cans of vegetables, one can of peaches, cranberry sauce, chicken broth and gravy, plus a bottle of cranberry juice.
A box of cereal, stuffing mix, instant mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, corn muffin mix, one percent low fat milk, wide noodles, recipe starter sauces and a bag of candy were added, plus fresh squash, apples and potatoes. On Saturday another crew added pies, bread, crackers and cookies to the boxes. Some families received a $15 Tops Gift Card for the purchase of a turkey while other received one of the 60 turkeys donated by Saint Gobain. The boxes were delivered on Saturday.
Last year 150 boxes went to needy Hoosick families. This year the need was greater as 26 more families received a Thanksgiving meal, plus some.
The Town of Hoosick has an estimated population of 7,000 people. Assuming a family average of four people, that makes about 1,750 families. Undoubtedly some families are larger, and some are only one person. But, for a guesstimate, that means ten percent of the Town’s families needed help to have a happy Thanksgiving.