Hot meals for over one hundred people in need this Christmas at the Queens Galley soup kitchen and food pantry in Kingston. Our Eva McKend has more on how the charity was able to pull through in spite of recent financial difficulties.
KINGSTON, N.Y. -- At Queens Galley, if you're hungry, you get a hot meal, no questions asked. No proof of poverty required. It's a source of relief for those in need across the Hudson Valley.
"It’s Christmas. I don’t know what I would do if I weren't here for Christmas" said Kingston resident James Davis.
"Everybody’s welcome here. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’ve been, what you’ve done," said Marjorie Everett.
The Galley's open door policy means that the charity relies on donations alone, no government grants. It's a reality that proposed a challenge in the wake of Superstorm Sandy when donations sunk and the group announced they would have to lay off staff and eliminate their breakfast program.
"We don’t know how we are going to survive day to day here but we do. The things that we need show up often in the eleventh hour," said Queens Galley President and CEO Diane Reeder.
With the aid of volunteers and the eleventh hour help, Christmas meals were served.
"This is absolutely nothing short of a Christmas miracle here today. The fact that we are here and that we have what we need to put food on the table, not just food, but really, a spectacular meal," said Reeder.
"There’s a lot of people throughout the Hudson Valley that need help and to give to them is to give back," added volunteer Wayne Decker who brought his family to help.
Queens Galley hopes to eventually raise enough money to purchase the space they rent. This would lower operating costs and allow them to provide more meals.