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Easter food giveaway feeds thousands

Annual distribution sees greater need during pandemic

SCRANTON, Pa. — At times, the line leading up to Scranton High School Tuesday was a few miles long. Each car was filled with someone looking to receive food for an Easter meal.

The giveaway is a yearly tradition for Friends of the Poor and Family to Family. But this year's event was anything but typical.

"Right now we have no income at all, can't pay our bills. There's just no work, especially right now. My boyfriend's not working and my friends here, their families aren't working. So, we all came down to see if we can get some food for the families," said Lori Krisler of Scranton.

For many, like Lori, this was their first time ever needing to ask for help.

The effort was on top of weekly food distributions Friends of the Poor has been doing since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers expected to feed double the amount of people they would typically see for the Easter giveaway. They had food for about 2,500 families.

"We've been seeing 1,200 people or more every week when we do this, so we figured for the holiday we need to have a lot more," said Linda Robeson, director of Family to Family.

Friends of the Poor and Family to Family moved the distribution outside to the Scranton High School parking lot to protect volunteers and families. 

Volunteers filled each family's car with food for Sunday's dinner, Easter baskets for the kids, and some produce to help them get through the rest of the week. 

"I think it's very nice that they're doing this for the people. The people who donate are very generous, it's appreciated on our part, I know that," said Kevin Decker of Moosic.