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Thanksgiving meals provided by the Ecumenical Food Pantry in Lake Placid are distributed throughout Essex County. Here, Sue Cutting of Cornell Cooperative Extension, left, Krista Berger of Essex County's Women Infant and Children, or WIC, program, center, and Samantha Davis, also of WIC, get ready to take a van full of meals to families in need. (Adirondack Daily Enterprise photo -- Chris Morris)<br />
Thanksgiving meals provided by the Ecumenical Food Pantry in Lake Placid are distributed throughout Essex County. Here, Sue Cutting of Cornell Cooperative Extension, left, Krista Berger of Essex County's Women Infant and Children, or WIC, program, center, and Samantha Davis, also of WIC, get ready to take a van full of meals to families in need. (Adirondack Daily Enterprise photo -- Chris Morris)

Volunteers distribute Thanksgiving meals at Lake Placid food pantry

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Dozens of volunteers gathered in Lake Placid earlier this week to help pack, deliver and dispense Thanksgiving meals at the Ecumenical Food Pantry.

The food pantry, which operates out of the basement of the St. Agnes Catholic Church, provided roughly 300 boxes that included a turkey and other traditional fixings to families in need this year.

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Chris Morris
Tri-Lakes Correspondent

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Linda Young is director of the Ecumenical Food Pantry. She says the meals, which are packed in big cardboard boxes, are distributed in theLake Placidcommunity and beyond.

“We do about 300 Thanksgiving baskets, and it’s got turkey, you know, all the bits – everything is in it,” she said. “And that’s to go for anybody that needs a turkey basket – anybody that needs it. Someone that might be falling through the cracks, that’s going through a problem.”

As Young speaks, volunteers are stuffing items into boxes and handing them to people lined up to take them home to their families. Others carry boxes up a flight of stairs, where trucks and vans are waiting to ship them out into the community.

Young says the turkeys and other food are purchased by the food pantry or donated. In some cases, local businesses chipped in with donations.

Outside, Krista Berger, who works forEssexCounty’s Women Infant and Children program, praises the hard work that Young has been doing since she took over as director of the food pantry back in the 1980s.

“She (Young) doesn’t care how many people – she’s always just said, ‘If they need it, then (they) can have it and deliver it.’ She’s never put a limit on it. She’s just very, very generous,” Young said.

More than 50 volunteers are here today, including some public figures. Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall and Adirondack Park Agency Executive Director Terry Martino are carrying boxes up the stairs, and Cliff Donaldson, regional representative for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is moving at top speed to pack the meals.

Wiping the sweat from his brow, Donaldson says Cuomo is promoting this kind of community service all aroundNew Yorkstate.

“So this is his priority: That neighbor helps neighbor,” Donaldson said. “It’s the same as what happened inKeene, where neighbor helped neighbor digging out and getting everything back together. InNew York City, it’s even more so. HurricaneSandydid tremendous damage, and the people down there are helping their neighbors. They’re putting on Thanksgiving meals. Truckloads of food and supplies are coming in. Volunteerism is healthy under the Cuomo administration and that’s a good thing.”

Young says the food pantry accepts donations year-round.

For more information about the Lake Placid Ecumenical Food Pantry, call Linda Young at 518-523-9620.

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