CATSKILL - Greene County volunteers got into the spirit of holiday giving and charity this week as hot Thanksgiving meals were hand-delivered to families in need across the county.
In a continuing tradition, Community Action of Greene County partnered with the Catskill Elks Lodge to deliver 151 Thanksgiving meals to less fortunate members of the Greene community as part of its annual Thanksgiving food drive.
Volunteers gathered Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving at the Elks Lodge to prepare the meals in advance of the food delivery that was scheduled to run on Thanksgiving from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
“For the last several years we’ve been working with the Elks Lodge to do home-delivered meals,” said Florence Ohle, of Community Action. “Since COVID, we’re the largest program in the county doing a Thanksgiving dinner. Last year, we served 300 people, but this year we had to cut it off at 150. It’s all donations from the community and largely volunteer work.”
Community Action of Greene County volunteers are traveling throughout the county on Thanksgiving to the 151 families that signed up for the complimentary holiday meals.
Leeds resident Carol Bulzone contacted the organization via Facebook and told Community Action that she lived alone, was homebound and had no family to help prepare Thanksgiving dinner for her. After she requested a Thanksgiving meal be delivered to her, the nonprofit group replied that she could call to set up her meal delivery.
Community Action received food and money donations from residents throughout the county to help fuel the Thanksgiving meal drive.
While the Catskill charity organization served 300 families during last year’s Thanksgiving event, the group was forced to scale back its operation in 2021.
“There were a lot of reasons,” Ohle said. “Part of it was with the delivery schedule for the supplier for the food, so we had to get an order in early. With limited resources we didn’t want to over-order. There also didn’t seem to be as many phone calls this year. We are still receiving a few (as of Wednesday). I just received one from another family, so we’re actually at 151 now. We’re one over our limit.”
After a four-hour session packing Thanksgiving meals on Wednesday, volunteers were set to reconvene at the Elks Lodge at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving for last-minute preparations for the afternoon deliveries that will be taking place countywide.