Rosedale residents help disadvantaged neighbors

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But more than two dozen Rosedale residents spent the Tuesday evening at the Cornucopia Society Food Pantry building on Brookville Boulevard distributing last-minute Thanksgiving items. The volunteers tried to keep their fingers warm in the unheated building, while residents from Rosedale, Laurelton and Springfield Gardens who have felt the economic pinch took advantage of the help filling their food cupboard.

Fred Kress, the president of the Cornucopia Society, said 175 people came to collect food last Tuesday and over the weekend 400 people came out when the society opened the food bin.

"We have been giving out cranberry sauce, yams, and instant potatoes," said Kress, who is also the president of the Rosedale Civic Association.

Kress said the society does not have the resources to serve a full Thanksgiving dinner and, in fact, does not even give out turkeys for the holiday.

"Maybe we'll give out turkeys when we get refrigeration," said Kress. "But it's cold enough in here. Maybe we would have been fine."

Kress said volunteers are constantly out in the neighborhood collecting canned goods and selling raffle tickets to raise money for the food bin.

"We try to spread the word in the neighborhood," said volunteer Radiance Robeteau. "I love to work with people."

Robeteau was busy signing people in, but stopped to consider the prospect of being at home in front of a nice warm fire.

"I came here to be of some use," said Robeteau.

Phyllis Connors has been volunteering at the food bin for several months and thinks it is making a substantial difference in the community.

"This is absolutely necessary," she said. "We make them feel like somebody cares."

Sal Tollisi, who retired from the grocery business, said he helped the Cornucopia Society institute a system.

Everyone has to sign in, present ID showing that they live in the area, and make sure everyone goes through the bin only once.

"Somebody has got to do this," Tollisi said. "They really needed a system."

The food pantry at 138-10 Brookville Blvd. next plans to distribute goods on Dec. 9.

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