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Giving back on Giving Tuesday

Volunteers with St. Mary's Healthcare, Chatholic Charities and Centro Civico distribute food donated from the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York to community members who are in need. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O'Hara)

AMSTERDAM — Local agencies teamed up to give back to hundreds of community members on Tuesday at Centro Civico by donating coats, other winter apparel and food.

Volunteers from St. Mary’s Healthcare, Catholic Charities, Centro Civico, Alpin Haus and other mission-based agencies distributed food to community members who are in need.

Food items donated included fresh vegetables, meats, canned goods, sparkling water, fruit and other critical items.

The food was donated from the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.

Volunteers, in an organized method, assisted attendees to gather the items they needed.

Volunteers with St. Mary's Healthcare, Catholic Charities and Centro Civico prepare to distribute food donated from the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York on Tuesday to community members who are in need. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O'Hara)

This monthly event began in November 2018 through a partnership between Catholic Charities, St. Mary’s Healthcare and Centro Civico, and other agencies donate food to community members. The goal of the event is to bring the food donations to locations accessible to those in need, since there is a lack of transportation in the area.

Last year, volunteers served over 250 families during this event.

“We began this in November 2018. It’s a partnership with Catholic Charities, St. Mary’s Healthcare and Centro Civico. We try to do them monthly, but we vary the locations,” said Margaret Brodie, director of community benefits at St. Mary’s Healthcare. “Usually 250 to 300 people come. This time the associates at St Mary’s donated used and new coats.”

“Food drops” such as these occur almost every month throughout various locations in Montgomery and Fulton counties. Tuesday’s event which was originally scheduled for Monday morning had been rescheduled due to the recent snow storm, but that worked out since it was “Giving Tuesday” nationally. The winter coats distributed at the event were also donated by local agencies. There were winter coats for both adults and children available.

In November, Catholic Charities — in partnership with St. Mary’s Healthcare and other local agencies — officially launched its Mobile Outreach Vehicle Extension. The MORE RV was on display at Tuesday’s event.

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