Local 22 & Local 44 has been collecting food items and cash donations to support food shelves throughout our viewing area since 2013. The pandemic forced the Feed a Family donation drives to take last year off. However, they returned on Thursday with a drive in Plattsburgh.

All of the food donations at Yando’s Big M Supermarket will support JCEO, the Joint Council of Economic Opportunity of Clinton and Franklin Counties. Shoppers also offered cash donations, since JCEO provides a wide range of services in the two-county area.

“We offer food assistance, emergency services, weatherization, day care services — you name it,” JCEO chief executive officer Nicole Laurin said. “It’s a long list, but we can’t do that without support like yours.”

While JCEO does serve the homeless population, they say more than 95% of their clients are people with a temporary need. They’ve landed in a crisis, pandemic-related or otherwise.

“It’s everyone,” JCEO development director Ellie Jent said. “It can be someone who is a repeat customer and we see back a lot, or it can be someone who just recently lost their job and needs help just that one time, just that one month.”

The holidays are the agency’s season of greatest need, “but it is all year ’round,” Jent said. “Disasters and emergencies don’t really go on a timeline, so people need help at any time of the year.”

The Feed a Family co-sponsors are happy to help out. They include Yando’s Big M, Eagle Country 97.5 and SeaComm Federal Credit Union.

“Cash is king, and cash can help out,” SeaComm business development manager Jerry Manor said. “And every dollar, according to JCEO, will go toward three meals. I’ll tell you what — a lot of people are going through tough times right now, especially during the holidays, so what a great way to help out.”

Next Thursday, December 9, Feed a Family moves to Price Chopper in West Lebanon. On Thursday, December 16, it shifts to Burlington at the City Market South End store. Both of those drives will take place from 12:00 noon until 6:30 p.m. on their respective days.