Thanksgiving is upon us and that means turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings. However, not all Rocklanders are so fortunate to have this meal this week. To combat that, a few food pantries and charities in Rockland are providing thousands of Thanksgiving meals to the tables of county residents in need. However, times are tough and a local business is stepping in to help out.
Paul Marks, owner of Leader Carpet in Nanuet, donated 100 turkeys weighing in about 10-14 pounds each to several area charities: People to People, Touch, St. Joseph’s Church and Haverstraw Holiday Meals.
Watch the video of Marks and hear about his donation. Here are some words of thanks from the charities:
“We are incredibly grateful. People to People is expecting to distribute 1,700 turkeys this year. A number of organizations have donated 50 or 100 turkeys. We appreciate Paul’s leadership in getting this together. We can’t do it without the support of the business community and our neighbors and friends, folks like Paul and Leader Carpet.”
Diane Serratore, Executive Director of People to People.
“It’s fantastic to get this donation, that a local business has taken upon themselves to make sure that people who are needy in the county are getting food. People don’t realize the great extent of hunger in Rockland County. Our agency alone, we’ve had 10 more people just today call us with their needs. Usually people come to us for food, but when they find out about our other information, they stay with us.”
Robert Maher, executive director of Touch.
Maher refers to the fact that Touch also provides a nutrition program with a registered nutritionist.
“We make sure that the food we give out is nutritionally appropriate because we also deal with people with people with chronic illnesses,” he said. “We have to make sure that we’re providing medically necessary items like low sodium, high protein, low sugar, things of that nature that are better food choices,” Maher said.
“We started a few years ago with Father Armand. Now it’s with Father Woody Gonzales. We started doing some things with Thanksgiving with a few people and fed a few families. We used to pick up (people) from the street who don’t have something to eat for Thanksgiving and now we feed over 300 people. We’ll get donations within the Parish itself, but times are hard. We’re very grateful because we’re always looking for free turkeys.”
Raymonde Torchon and Jacqueline Sanon of Charismatic Groupe De La Louange of St. Joseph’s Church in Spring Valley.
“We’re very grateful. We’re looking to serve over 500 people and we’re close to 20 years of providing this service. We provide meals every Thanksgiving and Christmas. We’re starting to cook about 100 pounds of rice in the next few days.”
Emily Dominguez of the Haverstraw Holiday Meals Committee.
“I was delighted, Paul reached out to me last week and said he was interested in donating but didn’t know who to donate to. I recommended a bunch of charities. I’m just excited to see a Clarkstown business doing really great things for not just people in Clarkstown but people throughout the entire county. The charities that are receiving today help thousands of people in the community and hopefully people don’t forget this after Thanksgiving and after the holidays. The need is still growing; we need people like Paul and Leader carpet to give in the future as well.”
Clarkstown Councilman George Hoehmann.