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August is Stuff the Bus month for area veterans in need

By GARY LIBERATORE

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Kelly Walters is the Executive Director of the Parkway Center in Utica.  All year long, she organizes projects to help those in need here in Utica.
 
One of the biggest projects she helps organize is the 911 Project National Day of Service.
 
For the past four years Walters has helped put together a food drive to help area veterans in need.  It's called Stuff the Bus for Vets.
 
Each Saturday in August and early September, a bus is parked outside of a Utica grocery store, where many giving people kindly donated some non perishable food items or personal hygiene items that veterans might need.
 
Saturday the bus was parked outside of Chanatry's in South Utica.
 
Walters says all of the items collected are brought to the Senior Center and sorted, then on September 11th are brought to the Central New York Veterans Outreach Center in Utica, "It's part of doing service and never forgetting what 911 meant to our country."
 
One of the volunteers who will be at each of the Saturday collection sites is Candy Curry of Utica. Curry has not only volunteered with this 911 Project in the past, but she has  volunteered a lot of her time at the Veterans Outreach Center as well, "They have a food pantry that is open five days a week that assists veterans who are in need.  We stuff the bus, we bring the food back to the Parkway Center, we unload it, and on 911, the day of our service project we have about 150 volunteers, we sort and pack the food then it's transported to the Central New York Veterans Outreach Center to fill their pantry and I was there the other today and their pantry is empty."
 
Curry says it's tough to see anyone in need, especially veterans who have given so much to our country, "And I've worked with homeless veterans when they come in and they are in need of food and it's hard to see somebody hungry and bring them downstairs to the pantry and not have anything to give them,  to at least sustain them for a few days."
 

Curry and Walters are hoping that pantry will be full come September 11th, thanks to you. 

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