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Nov 29, 2013

Worcester, Mass. Food Drive Helps Over 2,000 Families

(NECN: Kristen Carosa)

It’s a season of thankfulness and giving and that’s exactly what a major, annual food drive was doing Monday in Worcester, Mass. Over 50,000 pounds of donated food went to families in need.

“I have a family of six and my husband is the only one who works,” said Niki Ross.

She is one of the many families in Worcester who needs a little help this Thanksgiving. Ross picked up a free meal for her family Monday at the Friendly House in Grafton Hill.

“It’s so important for many families because with the cost of food this could pay an electric bill or something else instead of buying the meal,” said director Gordon Hargrove.

Hundreds of families stopped in to get a turkey, stuffing, canned goods and vegetables.

The Worcester County Sheriff’s office, the Worcester Sharks and Worcester Polytechnic Institute partnered up to collect the more than 50,000 pounds of food. This is the drive’s eighth year.

“We are trying to make this a better place and this one of the best days you ever have,” said Sheriff Lew Evangelidis.

More than 2,000 families will walk away this week with what they need for Thanksgiving and for the first time families were also offered free brand new coats and jackets for their children.

“I didn’t know that they were giving out jackets so this is an added bonus,” said Michelle Cormier.

She got a coat for each of her children, and it’s something she says she couldn’t afford on her own.

Two hundred and fifty coats were donated by Worcester’s Harr Toyota.

“We liked the idea of giving out brand new coats so the children can smile and the parents can be happy,” said Michael Gross.

The food distribution will continue on Tuesday and Wednesday. Any leftover food will be given out to organizations in the city.

“There are so many families without a meal for Thanksgiving,” said Josefina Yelez, “it makes us feel so great to be able to help some of them.”

Nov 29, 2013

Friendly House Distributes Thanksgiving Dinner to 2,000 Families in Worcester

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Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis stands with volunteers  and officials from the Friendly House and the Worcester Sharks as  the Friendly House begins to distribute Thanksgiving meals to  2,000 area families.

(Sam Bonacci, MassLive.com)

The Friendly House will be hard at work preparing Thanksgiving dinner for 2,000 Worcester residents Thursday night.

“This is all for our families,” said Gordon Hargrove, executive director of the Friendly House, of the roughly 50,000 pounds of food that will be given out. “We want to make this a little bit brighter of a time of a Thanksgiving for people who otherwise would not have one.”

Over the course of the next three days, 2,000 families will cycle through the Friendly House to receive the complete makings of a Thanksgiving meal. This food not only means these families can have a holiday meal, but the money saved can mean the difference in a heating or electricity bill getting paid. It takes hundreds of volunteers to make it happen though, according to Hargrove.

Various local organizations have pitched in to make sure those served by the Friendly House can have a Thanksgiving, said Hargrove. Among them are the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, which has been involved for the last eight years.

“We’re all trying to make Worcester a better place,” said Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis, whose office hosted a food drive with the Worcester Sharks hockey league. “All the people around us and in this community understand we can’t do it alone, so we have to do it together.”

The partnership extends to the Worcester Sharks and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The meals will be distributed to families in Worcester with children who registered ahead of time. The families are all in the area that the Friendly House’s food bank, located in the Grafton Hill area, normally serves.

“I’ve learned one thing about Worcester: it is a special place. We aren’t too big to lose track of each other, but we aren’t too small to be in everyone’s business,” said Evangelidis. “We really are just the perfect size where we can make a difference.”

Nov 8, 2013

Sheriff, Sharks Launch Food Drive Nov. 9

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 To the left is Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis and  Worcester Sharks Senior Director of Business and Community  Development Michael Myers are pictured with Worcester Sharks  mascot Finz as they announce the kickoff of the eighth annual  Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Food Drive, to begin Nov. 9.

 

 

WORCESTER — Worcester County Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis and  Worcester Sharks Senior Director of Community Development Michael Myers have announced that the Office of the Worcester County Sheriff and the Worcester Sharks have teamed up with Price Chopper for the eighth annual Worcester County Sheriff’s Food Drive, to be held when the Sharks host the Providence Bruins at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 at the DCU Center.


All fans that donate a canned food item at the game will receive a free ticket voucher to a future Sharks game, compliments of Price Chopper. All collected food will go directly to Friendly House of Worcester to be distributed to needy families throughout the Worcester area in time for Thanksgiving. 

“The Worcester Sharks organization is thrilled to partner with Sheriff Evangelidis and the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, Friendly House, WPI Fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha and Price Chopper again this season for the eighth annual food drive,” said Mr. Myers. “It is important to do all we can to assist those who are less fortunate, especially as we get ready for the holiday season.” 

More than 50,000 pounds in donated food items were collected last season, feeding more than 2,000 local families in need for Thanksgiving. The Sharks and sheriff hope to surpass that goal this season. 

“Once again, I am looking forward to teaming up with the Worcester Sharks, WPI fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha, Price Chopper and the Friendly House for this year’s 8th Annual Food Drive,” Mr. Evangelidis said. “As the holiday season approaches especially during this difficult economic time, it is extremely important to do all we can to help those families in our community who may be less fortunate. The food drive has been an extremely successful annual event and we are determined to surpass our previous goals to provide those families who may be in need with a wonderful holiday meal.” 

In addition, nonperishable food items may also be dropped off from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 15 at the Worcester PriceChopper, 50 Cambridge St.

Nov 8, 2013

Driving Forces SHS Partners with Sheriff to Provide Coats this Winter

 

BY MARK ASHTON
NEWS STAFF WRITER

SOUTHBRIDGE — Baby, it’s cold outside. And getting colder.  But there’s some heartwarming
activity going on through the end of November to make things a little warmer in the Tri-Community area, even for the neediest among us. “The need is overwhelming this year(for winter wear),” says Kimberly Roy of Worcester County Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis’ office. It’s in partnership with the Sheriff’s Department’s Annual Winter Coat Drive that students and staff at Southbridge Middle/High School (SMHS) have been collecting coats that soon will be added to the Sheriff’s cause.

The coats are scheduled to be distributed early next month at a few key locations in the Tri-Community area and throughout the county. The SMHS drive, going on for about a month, has been coordinated by the 30-member Student Council under the direction of Council Adviser Ricardo Carrero. With collection bins at all the school’s home football games this season and boxes also set up in the high school’s administration office, the students and staff had already collected, donated, and otherwise gathered about 80 coats as of earlier this week. New or “gently-used” coats may still be dropped off at the school offices, even as those already collected are headed for dry-cleaning at Twin City Cleaners, 147 West Main St., Dudley. “They give us a really good deal on the cleaning,” says Roy.

The Sheriff’s Coat Drive this year, in fact, is truly a collaborative effort, with Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, the New England Revolution soccer team, the Worcester County Reserve Deputy Sheriff’s Association, Twin City Cleaners, and the Southbridge High School Student Council. All joining forces with the Sheriff’s office.

Last year, the Sheriff’s Winter Coat Drive “was a great success, providing more than 1,500 new and lightly used winter jackets to families in need throughout the greater Southbridge area and the region,” said Evangelidis “This year, we’re determined to surpass that goal,” he adds, hoping to give away as many as 2,000, according to Roy.

“As many families continue to struggle, especially during these tough economic times, it is extremely important to do all we can to help those who are less fortunate,” said the Sheriff. “Providing an adequate winter jacket can be of great help during the cold winter months.”

Members of the SHS Student Council aiding in the school’s collection drive include: Kenneth Allard, Julianys Alvarado, Cameron Boisvert, Rosa Brito, Mark Butler, Tesslyn Castro, Delaney Ducey, Makayla Estrada, Taylor Feraco, Jennifer Freshette, Megan Garlie, Ana Gonzalez, Brett Horr, Erin Jovan, Hannah Lazo, Taylor Loconto, Karina Martinez, Callie Mathieu, Sarai McNeill, Kaytlyn Mekal, Jomaris Molina, Gabriella Oliveras, Elyse Pena, Neydi Ramirez, Amaliah Torres, Karina Torres, Conrad Waack,  Rebekah Walker, and Miranda Watkins.

The coats are slated to be distributed locally on Thursday, Dec. 5. “We’ll be in the North County in the morning,” said Roy, “and in Southbridge probably about 1:30 p.m.” Local recipients of this year’s coats will include Tradewinds Club House on Main Street, the Center of Hope on Foster Street, and Catholic Charities at 79 Elm St.

Those wishing to contribute winter wear to the drive may still do so at the high school or directly at Twin City Cleaners in Dudley, Roy adds. The coat drive will continue through the end of November.

Those seeking information on how to receive a coat, or wanting to have one picked up, may call the Sheriff Department’s Civil Process Office (at 240 Main St., Worcester) at: 508-796-0344.

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