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Long lines for food at Samaritan Center

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Long lines for food at Samaritan Center
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The Samaritan Center is working hard to help Central New Yorkers in need. Those working to keep people fed have had their work cut off for them this week. Iris St. Meran shows us how they're ensuring everyone who comes through their doors gets something to eat.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- During the week, dinner is served around 3:45 at the Samaritan Center. People usually come early, but recently, there have been guests waiting at least an hour before they open.

Samaritan Center Development Director Lori Lichorobiec said, "Usually 15 minutes even before the meal, they'll all stand up, they'll get out of the chairs. They all want to be the first ones in line to make sure they get fed."

To make sure everyone gets fed, they've had to find ways to make food last. Most of what they serve comes from donations.

"Normally, if there's any food left over at the end of the meal, we will give seconds,” Lichorobiec said. “We have not been able to do that."

Many of the patrons are grateful for the food.

Jamar Perry said, "It's great to know there's people out there that care for other people and help them with food."

"I appreciate everything these guys do. They serve the community," said Jessica Marlow.

There is a silver lining. Yes, the Samaritan Center has more guests, but they're answering more calls for people wanting to volunteer their time.

"We are very blessed to be in a wonderful community, here in Syracuse,” Lichorobiec added. “We have just great volunteers. Our green doors wouldn't be open without the volunteers we have."

Approximately 180 guests are expected on Thanksgiving and they have a full list of volunteers who have signed up to make sure people have full stomachs and full hearts.

Volunteers have been generous with their time during the holidays, but the Samaritan Center is always looking for help, especially during the summer.

Visit www.samcenter.org/volunteers.html to learn more about volunteer opportunities.

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