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St. Vincent de Paul kitchen seeks items for those in need

(WJAC)

JOHNSTOWN - Ham has become known to many as a Christmas holiday staple.

"People would say, do you have any meat, I need meat for my meal," said St. Vincent de Paul kitchen manager Greg Karcher.

At the St. Vincent de Paul kitchen in Johnstown, people in need can get a hot meal for free every day.

But every year, right around this time, Karcher said they like to do a little more.

For the past few years they've been accepting hams and donating them to families.

"You get phone calls that say, I just have one ham or one turkey. That's one family you may be feeding, if you bring it down," says Karcher.

The kitchen on Bedford Street sees thousands of people a month. But when the weather gets colder like it is right now, the need only increases, and he sees more and more families come in.

"Sometimes you'll get children that will come in here and don't have a coat, don't have shoes. I mean it'll be freezing cold," says Karcher.

"It's tough to see during the kids during the winter time or at least doesn't have a coat, a warm coat," says St. Vincent de Paul executive director Sonny Consiglio.

So besides a warm meal, St. Vincent de Paul has found it's just as important to keep people warm when they leave.

They're also accepting coats, hats and gloves for both adults and children.

“The unemployment, there's so many things going on. You have a lot of people just in dire straits," says Karcher.

"And this time of year, remember that in January the need continues, in February, and in March. You know it doesn't stop in January when people need it," says Consiglio.

The nonprofit is also seeking new, unwrapped toys for kids. You can drop off hams, clothing and new toys now through next week.

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