NEW YORK (PIX11) — Anna Olivo said the only thing she usually has to worry about this close to Thanksgiving is coordinating volunteers and food orders — but not this year.
“Because the cost of food has gone up, we are about $15,000 in the hole, and we do not want to close our operations after 25 years,” said Olivo. “We are desperate. We are really desperate to feed all the families.”
Olivo handles logistics for the NYC Basket Brigade, a non-profit organization that donates groceries and turkeys to more than 800 families in Westchester County and New York City every Thanksgiving. The food items are made possible through corporate donations and sponsorships.
“Saturday before Thanksgiving we start a week before that taking in the order because we’ve gotten to such a scale now that we are taking in commercial quantities,” said Frank Clark, the president of the NYC Basket Brigade.
The quantities fell short of the demand this year, and time is running out to get the extra donations needed.
“So we really, really need donations desperately,” added Olivo.
What started as a small food drive on someone’s front porch 25 years ago has grown to be a big operation that many families count on.
“I believe in ripples, so maybe small ripples in a pond can create revolutions,” said Joseph Varghese, community and marketing director.
To make it happen, 150 volunteers of all ages get together at the Our Lady of Shkodra church in Hartsdale, New York, which donates the space. There they sort out the fresh produce, canned goods and turkeys. For now, there’s not enough to fill up all the empty boxes.
“I keep my fingers crossed and hoping a miracle will happen,” said Olivo.
The NYC Basket Brigade is not just limited to Thanksgiving. They provide food for families throughout the year, so they are always in need of donations and volunteers.