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St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters partnered with HOPE Community Services to hold their Annual Fourth of July Celebration for the needy families of their soup kitchen in New Rochelle.

A team of dedicated volunteers – led by director Carol Troum – prepared the food for more than 500 clients. Troum’s enthusiasm for the event is evident: "The clients look forward to this event all summer. Unlike us, it is the only time they get to enjoy a barbeque… It is truly festive and makes the clients feel special."

Hundreds of hotdogs and hamburgers were cooked on charcoal grills in the parking lot. The HOPE Community Services community hall was made even more festive with red, white and blue decorations and tablecloths. Patriotic and inspirational music was performed by a local musician during the celebration. Plates were filled with traditional cook-out fare and served by volunteers to each tableful of guests. Dessert consisted of ice cream sundaes, of course!

Every family who attended the meal was thrilled to celebrate their pride in our country, and the special relationship with St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters.