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Skidmore College

EOC benefits from generosity of campus community

December 18, 2013

EOC benefits from generosity of campus community


Dec. 18, 2013

The Skidmore College community contributed more than $7,000 this year to the annual “Adopt-a-Family” Thanksgiving food drive sponsored by the Saratoga Economic Opportunity Council (EOC).

The contribution from Skidmore students, faculty, and staff was the largest group donation to the program, which raised approximately $40,000 to provide Thanksgiving baskets to more than 750 families this year. Roy Rotheim, professor of economics and a longtime EOC volunteer, spearheads the informal campus effort by sending a late-fall, all-College email. He said, “By mid-October I find loads of emails and inquiries in passing on campus asking, ‘So when are you going to send out the support-a-family email?’ I like that because it says to me that this annual appeal has become one of the ‘givens’ of our fiber.’”

Each year the campus fund-raising effort kicks off with a contribution from the Skidmore Running Club. As in the past, the 2013 donation of $435 came following the Celebration Weekend 5K Run. Gove Effinger, professor of mathematics, coordinates the run, which marked its 20th anniversary in 2013.

The EOC estimates that it costs $25 to feed a family of four a traditional Thanksgiving meal. It puts together baskets that include cranberry sauce, gravy, stuffing mix, instant potatoes, apple sauce, corn, green beans, canned yams, a five-pound bag of fresh potatoes from a local farmer, a bag of fresh carrots, a bag of fresh apples, and a $10 gift card to Price Chopper for a turkey, tofurky, or ham.

Anita Paley, executive director of the EOC, said, “Skidmore has been very thoughtful in making Saratoga EOC a part of its culture. As I review the generosity of students, faculty, and staff, I am in awe. There is not one time of the year that we are not on Skidmore’s mind and it shows through the volunteerism of the students, the involvement of interns in our programs, the enthusiasm faulty have for driving giving, the invitation to share your facility for our evens and education purposes, and how Skidmore remembers our Soup Kitchen when you go on break.”

She continued, “I would like to send a heartfelt thank you for making Saratoga EOC a part of the Skidmore family and for giving us the security of your partnership. We are truly grateful and look forward to growing deeper in what we do through your support.”

The Adopt-a-Family program began approximately 20 years ago, when Skidmore College representatives connected with the EOC to put the baskets together. Then as now, basket sizes vary depending on the size of the family.

One of the largest food pantries in the county, the EOC collects the Thanksgiving donations and purchases the basket items in bulk, then puts the baskets together and arranges for pick up just before the holiday. Although interested families are required to register for baskets in advance, there is always a “last chance pickup” day to allow late registrants an opportunity to obtain holiday meal items.

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