Deputy Director Krystle Nowhitney Hernandez, Executive Director Jo Anne Hume and Community Services Director Angelo Calbone helped pack 800 Thanksgiving baskets to help Saratoga County families in need.

The Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council (EOC) packed 800 Thanksgiving baskets filled with all the fixings to help families across the county celebrate Thanksgiving.

“No one should go to bed on an empty stomach, especially on Thanksgiving,” said Jo Anne Hume, executive director of EOC. “But that’s the reality for far too many of our neighbors. And, while we run our food pantries and the soup kitchen year-round to meet that need, we’ve made it our tradition to do something extra special for Thanksgiving.”

The Saratoga County EOC Thanksgiving baskets were filled with corn, gravy, stuffing, green beans, applesauce, cranberry sauce, potatoes, carrots and apples as well as a gift card to purchase a turkey.

“Saratoga County is such a generous community and we really try to look out for each other,” said Angelo Calbone, community services director at EOC. “This is my first year at EOC, and I can’t believe how many people and businesses stepped up to donate money and goods or volunteer their time to help unload the food and pack the baskets. They really helped us make this year’s Thanksgiving basket project the biggest and best one yet. ”

The Saratoga County EOC Thanksgiving baskets were a true community effort. More than 400 individual and corporate donors stepped up to sponsor baskets for families this Thanksgiving. Fidelis Care and Val’s Sporting Goods in Mechanicville helped offset the cost of each reusable bag. Saratoga Apple in Schuylerville donated over 7,000 apples. Volunteers helped pick the apples in October and the Skidmore baseball team helped bag the apples in November.

Gordon Creek Elementary and Saratoga Girl Scouts also donated food to supplement the baskets.

In addition, the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce had several ambassadors volunteer with EOC staff and board members to pack the bags, as well as students from Saratoga High School. The Presbyterian New England Congregational Church (PNECC), where EOC runs the soup kitchen and packed the Thanksgiving bags, is always very generous with their space. PNECC volunteers also helped distribute the baskets.

The Saratoga County EOC is a nonprofit that serves all of Saratoga County. The main office and emergency food pantry are located at 39 Bath St. in Ballston Spa and its programs include the Thanksgiving baskets, emergency food pantry, daily soup kitchen, mobile food pantry, rural food delivery, weatherization, WIC and Head Start.