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Eastchester Food Pantry is Thankful for Help

EASTCHESTER,  N.Y. --  It looked for a while as if the food pantry cupboard might be bare for the holiday, but in the end the Eastchester Community Action Program had enough turkeys for the 260 families who signed up in advance to get one, and even some extra for those in need who dropped in unannounced.

“I am so grateful, that I wish I could give everyone a really big hug,” ECAP director Charlene Lambrecht said. “I can hardly find the words to express how grateful I am.”

One of the services provided by ECAP, located on Main Street in Tuckahoe, is a food pantry, which is open five days a week to anyone who needs to stop by and pick up a bag of groceries. But a mere nine days before Thanksgiving, the ECAP freezer had no turkeys to hand out to any of the dozens of families living in Tuckahoe, Eastchester or Bronxville who needed one.

Days after ECAP’s call for help appeared in the The Daily Eastchester, Lambrecht’s phone began to ring.

“I had people calling me and asking 'What do you need? What can I bring?” Lambrecht said. “The outpouring of support exceeded any expectations I have ever had about the support of this community.”

“Eastchester Community Action Program needed turkeys and Eastchester High School stepped up to the plate,” Eastchester High School parent Maura McMahon wrote in an email to The Daily Eastchester.

McMahon said that after reading about the shortfall of turkeys needed for Thanksgiving dinners that ECAP provides, Eastchester HS quickly put together a "Turkey Day Challenge" to collect donations to buy turkeys and other Thanksgiving dinner items.

“EHS students and their families, teachers and administrators met the challenge donating almost $1,900 - and a few turkeys! Parent volunteers went shopping to purchase a few dozen turkeys, stuffing, potatoes and other holiday dinner items to donate to ECAP - and Tuesday afternoon, EHS delivered the groceries and checks to an extremely grateful ECAP,” McMahon said.

And that was just the beginning. Lambrecht said she had 60 or 70 people bringing in fresh fruits and vegetables and dozens of turkeys.

On November 15, Lambrecht stood beside her empty freezer.

"I remain prayerful and hopeful that we are going to get a lot of stuff from the wonderful people in the community who always fill our pantry, but it just hasn't gotten here yet,” she said on that day.

Now, a very grateful Lambrecht had a different comment.

“ECAP has always had the support of the community, but this was beyond any outpouring I have ever had,” Lambrecht said. “And even further, I already have promises from some of our contributors for Christmas.”

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