UTICA – In what has become an annual tradition, dozens of people lined up outside of the Utica Fire Department’s central fire station on Bleecker Street this morning to await the Utica Food Pantry’s Thanksgiving turkey giveaway.
Fire Chief Russell Brooks, who is also the president of the Utica Food Pantry, was on hand for the distribution of 500 turkeys with all of the trimmings to local families in need.
Other staff from the food pantry say that some of the people who have stood on that long line previously have since returned to stand on the other side of it.
“One of the individuals that's here, the first time that he came for a turkey, he's helped us ever since,” said Marianne Buttenschon, vice president of the Utica Food Pantry. “Antonio that's here today, and many of the other individuals continue to come back, but Antonio is probably our standard. He painted for us and he still continues to help us."
The Price Rite store across the street from the fire house gave the Utica Food Pantry a special deal on the turkeys and trimmings.