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Holiday spirit of giving reigns throughout the Bronx

Bronx Times

In the season of giving, the haves ensured the have-nots they were not forgotten for Thanksgiving.

In all corners of the borough, where the homeless and jobless rates are the highest in the city, nonprofits geared up to feed those who often find it tough putting food on their table.

Some charitable groups prepared Thanksgiving feasts while others handed out free Thanksgiving ingredients to the impoverished.

One of the busiest Thanksgiving venues was at the soup kitchen run by Part of the Solution (POTS) in Fordham, where volunteers served a hot Thanksgiving meal to nearly 800 people, more than double their regular daily intake.

Folks broke bread at Our Lady of Refuge just around the corner from the Webster Avenue pantry that’s operated there for the past 31 years.

A report issued last year by the New York City Coalition Against Hunger found just over half a million Bronxites can’t find a consistent, daily meal.

In the east Bronx, fifty families living in Throggs Neck Houses received a fresh Shady Brook Farms turkey courtesy of Sen. Jeff Klein and his staff, who paid a visit to the affordable housing complex on Friday, Nov. 22, with a truck full of turkeys.

“At this time of year, I think it’s important to not just give thanks,” said Klein, “but also to give back to the community.”

The day before, the affordable housing developer known as OMNI New York handed 385 turkeys to needy Hunts Point families. It was part of the organization’s 7th annual turkey giveaway at 737 Southern Blvd.

For some of the traditional Thanksgiving fixings, City Harvest doled out nearly 20,000 pounds of free produce ranging from sweet potatoes to eggplant. Some 500 family men and women took the No. 2 or 5 subway train, stopping by the group’s Mobile Market parked at the Melrose Community Center.

The online grocer known as FreshDirect was also in the giving mood, staging a four-day turkey giveaway event at various neighborhood locations including P.S. 209 in Fordham Heights, where parents picked up a donated turkey, which principal Anne Keegan said “will go a long way.” In all, about 800 turkeys were donated.

Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. took also notice of FreshDirect’s offering, calling it an “act of kindness.”

Of course, Thanksgiving came early for some, including seniors at Findlay House, the living facility in Claremont. On Nov. 22, residents and there families were treated to a turkey meal following an opening prayer.

The dinner served as a Thanksgiving substitute for senior residents unable to see their families or those who “don’t have anywhere to go,” as spokeswoman Olivia Gatti put it.

David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383

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