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Northeast Community Center neighbors get Holiday Food Baskets from Senator Gillibrand, who says Build Back Better Bill would help with Center's Issues

Gillibrand Northeast Community Center - smith.jpg
John Smith/WAER News
About 100 food baskets were handed out to Syracuse residents at the Northeast Community Center. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was joined by Mayor Ben Walsh and State Senators Rachel May and John Mannion, along with center and community volunteers.

The season of giving is underway in Syracuse as 100 families will be receiving the fixings for Thanksgiving meals from Syracuse’s Northeast Community Center. US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was joined today by Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and State Senators John Mannion and Rachel May as they helped to pack the remaining items into grocery bags.

“These bags have enough for about 5 meals which is great.  It’s certainly wonderful at this time when we can have gratitude for all our blessings to give back and to help others who certainly can use a little help after this  very long year-and-a-half of COVID,” said Gillibrand. 

She says the pandemic proved that there wasn’t enough infrastructure in place for kids and families when schools had to shut down… and 5 million women also immediately lost their jobs. Gillibrand is working to get national paid leave and other assistance for parents into the Build Back Better Bill.

“We’re working on a Universal Pre-K plan for 3- and 4-year-olds.  We’re working on affordable daycare.  All of that care economy would have helped if we had had that in place pre-COVID.”

Gillibrand also passed out diapers to parents. Monique was one of the recipients. She has two young children.

“It means a lot because like I said, I’m a single parent.  So, I do everything by myself.”  

The grocery items for local families were provided by National Grid and Wegmans donated 100 reusable grocery bags. The Deputy Director of the Northeast Community Center, Patty Sullivan says the center is grateful for all of the support.

“We also had the Marrone Law Firm donate 100 pies which was amazing.  We partner with Dr. Weeks Elementary School because we are a community school.  For Christmas we do have a giving tree program where we give out gifts to families in need.  So anyone who can support of family would be great.”  

Sullivan adds the center is also in need of coats and other winter items for families. Their website is

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.