SCRANTON, Pa. -- Each year, we ask our viewers to help Feed A Friend, and on Tuesday, hundreds of families in Scranton benefitted from that effort.
Putting food on the table when you're a working parent can be tough, but Tonece Capel says knowing that Thursday night's dinner is taken care of is a big relief.
"I have a family of five, a husband. You know, we strive a lot to pay the bills, and we just make it sometimes. This is a help. God is good, that's all I can say," Capel said.
Capel is one of more than 800 people who applied to receive the fixings for a free Thanksgiving meal through United Neighborhood Centers and WNEP's Feed A Friend.
In total, UNC will feed about 1,000 families in Lackawanna County.
"It makes it a lot easier, you know, paying the bills, paying this and paying that. Then I got the letter in the mail, and I thought, 'Oh, that about $50 less that we have to spend out of our pocket,''' James Manzi said.
Each family receives veggies, potatoes, canned goods, and a turkey. Many families admit they'll make this meal stretch as long as possible.
"If they're smart, save a little leftovers, we'll have some for Christmas. Or we'll have a lot of turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, and turkey everything," Manzi said.
United Neighborhood Centers has been doing Thanksgiving food distributions in Carbondale and Scranton for more than 40 years, and for many of those years, it's been the main hub for donations out of Lackawanna County to WNEP's Feed A Friend.
"It feels great. It's been an ongoing process now for the past month and a half, and we're just so grateful for the community support and the volunteers that we have here today," said Maura Mark, United Neighborhood Centers.
Teams of volunteers make this enormous undertaking flow smoothly, filling up bags and helping families carry the food to their cars. The volunteers say this makes their Thanksgiving better, too.
"You really realize how fortunate you are, and you realize how grateful you are, and it's really rewarding," said Taylor Seprosky, a senior at Valley View High School.