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Food Drive Helps Over 100 Families Enjoy a Thanksgiving Meal

Kiwanis immediate past president Debbie Kirsh, members of the East Meadow Aktion Club and Kiwanian Debbie Coates collecting food earlier this month in front of Waldbaum's.
Kiwanis immediate past president Debbie Kirsh, members of the East Meadow Aktion Club and Kiwanian Debbie Coates collecting food earlier this month in front of Waldbaum's.
The East Meadow Kiwanis holiday food drive collected enough food in November to deliver Thanksgiving meals to 114 families facing trying times this holiday season, according to food drive chairman Jay Steinmetz.

All the families are within the East Meadow School District.

Food baskets were assembled Nov. 22. Turkeys and three bags of food were delivered Nov. 23, according to immediate past president Debbie Kirsh.
Approximately 40 Kiwanians, along with their spouses, children and friends, delivered the meals.

The event was funded with money and food donated and collected by East Meadow Kiwanis Club members, students in local Kiwanis-sponsored Circle K, Key Club, Builders Club and K-Kids Club community service organizations and by shoppers who donated food and cash at North Shore Fitness Club and to Kiwanians during their holiday food drive outside the local Waldbaum's.

Local religious leaders and social workers identify the recipients.

When the effort first started 20+ years ago, Steinmetz said approximately one dozen meals were delivered. Through the years, 12 families became 20, 30 became 40, 50 became 75 until the collection one year helped a high of 128 families.

"It's a sign of the times," said Steinmetz, who's been chairing the food drives for the past 17 years. "Things are looking like they're getting better but nevertheless people need help."

Kiwanis holds the drive three times a year - in November, December and again in the spring just before Easter/Passover. Next month, volunteers will be back in front of the East Meadow Waldbaum's on the weekend of Dec. 14-15.

Last year, Kiwanis delivered Thanksgiving dinners to 104 local families living under trying circumstances.

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