Final preparations are underway at the Oncenter as volunteers from the Salvation Army prepare to serve thousands of families in need.
This year's Christmas Bureau Distribution will be held on Friday, December 21 from 1:00 - 7:00 p.m.
On Thursday, Wegmans donated 18,000 pounds of non-perishable food to the families, including canned vegetables and fruit, juice, cereal, milk and other items. Wegmans will also deliver 2,800 loaves of bread on Distribution Day.
"Wegmans has been a vital Christmas Bureau Partner for many years," says Major George Polarek, Area Coordinator for the Syracuse Area Salvation Army. "This contribution, along with hundreds of local food drives and support from the Food Bank of Central New York, will ensure that we are able to provide food baskets to more than 2,800 families on Friday at the Oncenter. These baskets provide a healthy holiday meal for local families as well as some extra food to help feed their children during the school break."
Christmas Bureau Distribution is a community wide effort that provides turkeys, food baskets, toys, books and stocking stuffers to low-income families each Christmas. On Friday, 2,800 pre-registered families will get to choose gifts for approximately 8,000 children and will receive food baskets packed by an army of volunteers.
This is the largest Christmastime giveaway in Syracuse and every year eligible low-income families receive a book, a toy and a stocking stuffer for each child in their family. In addition, each family receives a holiday food basket that contains a turkey and all the fixings for a holiday dinner.
Over the last five years, Christmas Bureau has served more than 14,000 families and more than 35,000 children.
A portion of South State Street will be blocked off during Christmas Bureau Distribution Day on Friday.
South State Street between East Adams and Harrison Streets will be closed from around 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Drivers are asked to use an alternative route.
Drivers try to travel south or trying to connect to Route 81 should use Montgomery or South Townsend Streets. Drivers trying to head north should take South Warren or Townsend Streets.