‘We couldn’t do it without community support’: Bringing holiday help to those in need

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Rochester’s poverty rate for adults is 28.9%. That’s according to the Rochester Area Community Foundation.

The holiday season can be a pretty stressful time for families who struggle financially, but these two agencies are there to help. The Small Business Council of Rochester has been hosting a Thanksgiving food drive for over 25 years, and this year is no different.

They provide Thanksgiving boxes for families with two adults and four kids.

“Every box includes some type of bread item, a dessert item, fruit, canned fruit, canned vegetables, potatoes of some sort and gravy. And we try not to include anything that’s in a glass container so that, you know, everything arrives to the recipient in a safe way,” says Andrea Truini-True, a board member of the Small Business Council of Rochester.

The food is donated to the council by various businesses. They then put together the boxes and provide them to different organizations for distribution.

“And this year we received a request for 3,700 boxes of food. So we are trying to hit that mark so that we can provide all of those families with food. And then we also receive, from various individuals and businesses in the Rochester community, cash donations. And we try to include, you know, send out, any cash donations that we receive,” says Truini-True.

Another agency that helps to provide the holiday cheer is the Salvation Army. A big part of that is their Red Kettle campaign.

“We actually start ringing tomorrow, and it’s about a six week campaign. And we’re trying to raise $375,000 to help the Rochester community,” says Richard Starkey with the Salvation Army.

All the money that is raised by the Red Kettle Campaign in Rochester stays in Rochester, and goes to the families in need.

“You know, they might have a need. But what they really need is hope that things are going to get better, you know, that they’re going to have a meal to give to their family. They’re going to have toys to give to their children. And so, the fact that the community supports us — because we couldn’t do it without community support,” says Starkey.

So far, 1,100 families have signed up to receive this help. The cap is close. So if you want to get your name on the list, click here.