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Feeding those in need

MORRISONVILLE - For the last eight years, members of American Legion Post 1619, Sons of the American Legion, the auxiliary and the American Legion Riders, have used their funds to help others in need.

With various fundraisers throughout the year, much of the money goes towards buying food for food baskets, including pies, stuffing, potatoes and vegetables. Every basket also contains a turkey, each of which were mostly donated by UPS.

Dan Easton, a Legion member of Post 1619, explained instead of seeing people go without a meal for Christmas, they'd get together and help out the best way they could.

"We know a lot of people in the North Country that are in need," explained Legion member Dan Easton. "Everybody isn't as fortunate as we are, to be able to afford [their] own meals."

This year, 50 baskets were made to be given to families throughout the North Country.

"It didn't start out with 50 baskets by any means," said Easton. "It's grown throughout the years."

Easton explained many of the Legion members deliver food baskets to families they know who could use a good meal during the holidays.

Dave Justus, who has been providing toys for needy children for the last 38 years, was approached by the Legion five years ago to provide a food basket for some of the families he works with.

"They not only cannot afford toys, they can't afford a decent meal either for the holidays," said Justus. "We're kind of giving them two in one. We give them toys and a meal as well."

"They go above and beyond," added Justus of the Legion. "They're a fantastic organization."

This year, with increased prices on a lot of food, Easton said the commander of the Sons of the American Legion Post 1619 Steve Burdo put a lot of hard work into helping the cause.

"Steve Burdo's been instrumental in calling around, trying to get the best prices, making the dollar go farther," said Easton. "Which everybody's trying to do today."

Although the Legion aims to keep the number of baskets at 50, due to high costs, they will do what they can.

"As the need grows, we'll grow," said Easton.

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