EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. — A line of vehicles stretched for blocks outside the Salvation Army in East Stroudsburg. Hundreds of people came to pick up Thanksgiving dinner supplies.
“This is great. This is what keeps us going. We are both in retirement. Well, she’s retired, and I am disabled and the $15 in food stamps doesn’t cut it. This helps out a lot,” Leroy Hardenstine said.
Turkeys, fruits, veggies and more were packed for people in need.
Most of the volunteers were students from J.T. Lambert Intermediate near East Stroudsburg.
“We are loading up cars with all of these really nice donations. It feels good to help those who need it more than we do,” said eighth grader Katie Verwys.
While the line was several blocks long, it moved smoothly because this year there were two different pickup lines.
“Because we have so many volunteers, we are able to split it into two lines and it’s going a lot faster,” said Maj. Gilbert Parkhurst, East Stroudsburg Salvation Army.
The distribution will help more than 400 families.
Parkhurst loves seeing the reactions from people as they pick up their dinners.
“Some of the folks, as they start to pull in, they look a little sad. Then they see all the volunteers with the food, ready to hand it to them and their whole demeanor on their face changes completely.”
Denise Davis from Stroudsburg has been picking up holiday dinners for her family for the past three years. To her, this is a blessing.
“There are a lot of people, a lot of families that are in need, so it definitely helps a lot,” Davis said.
A Christmas dinner and toy distribution are planned for next month at the Salvation Army in East Stroudsburg.
“A lot of the folks, they have to make a choice between whether they want to pay the rent, or want to buy Thanksgiving meal, or pay the utilities, or the Thanksgiving meal. So this way, that helps them with that decision so they don’t have to worry about the Thanksgiving meal,” said Maj. Parkhurst added.