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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Massena Neighborhood Center seeks holiday help

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MASSENA - With their distribution of Christmas food baskets rapidly approaching, Massena Neighborhood Center officials say they could still use some help in filling those boxes.

Boxes will be distributed Dec. 17, and Executive Director Elaine H. Eggleston said 490 families have requested assistance from the Neighborhood Center this year. That includes 651 children and 1,490 individuals. They helped more than 1,400 people last year.

“It’s risen from last year. We take applications for all of our service area, not just totally Massena. We cover about a 21-mile radius of Massena. We cover Rooseveltown, Brasher, Helena, North Lawrence, Lawrenceville, Raymondville, Norfolk, Louisville, Massena, parts of Chase Mills and parts of Nicholville,” she said.

One of the biggest ways people can help with this year’s program is through the Helping Hands boxes offered at Hannaford’s supermarket, Ms. Eggleston said.

“We’re really in need of Hannaford Helping Hands boxes, other than cash donations to pay for the meat and potatoes,” she said.

The boxes, which can be found near the store’s entrance, contain essential prepared food items that become a part of the Neighborhood Center’s Christmas program. Together they provide not only a Christmas dinner but additional nutritional food for each family for three to five days.

“The boxes are included in all of our baskets. We include other food from here. The Hannaford box is not all they receive,” Ms. Eggleston said.

The boxes are $10 each and are set aside for pickup by the Massena Neighborhood Center volunteers or purchased to deliver to recipients of the person’s choice.

“They go in, they purchase a box for $10 and they can donate it to the Neighborhood Cente, or they can buy it and donate it to anyone of their choice,” Ms. Eggleston said.

She noted individuals could also purchase the boxes for themselves.

“They don’t have to donate it,” she said.

Ms. Eggleston said Hannaford employees are very much a part of the Helping Hands program.

“Hannaford employees purchase boxes and donate them to us. They have a statewide competition for all Hannaford’s to see who can sell the most boxes,” she said.

The Massena store won last year’s competition, according to Ms. Eggleston.

“Because they won it, they received a $500 Hannaford gift card, which they turned around and donated to us,” she said.

In addition to the Helping Hands boxes, monetary donations are also appreciated. They can be dropped off at the Neighborhood Center or sent to Massena Neighborhood Center, 61 Beach St., Suite 103, Massena, N.Y. 13662.

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