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Heroes of the Recession - Potluck Dinners

Heroes of the Recession - Potluck Dinners - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 4:15PM EST

Reported by: Candice Kelly
Monday, May 11, 2009 @ 04:15pm EST
GREENTOWN- In these tough economic times, putting food on the table can be a challenge for some people. But there are places people can turn to for a little assistance, for free. In this week’s Heroes of the Recession, we introduce you to a husband and wife who are helping people in their community. And they're doing it one pot luck dinner at a time.

This may look like every other picnic at the park. There's food, there's fun, and family. But this ordinary gathering has an extraordinary purpose. Lenore Rogan said, "We did some research and found out that statistically that hunger was on the increase in our region as well as rural homelessness and other poverty related problems."

Lenore Rogan and her husband Eduardo Antonetti organized the Pike/Wayne Community Potluck Dinner. They started it in September to help ease some of the financial burdens of food, gas and commodities.

“And we thought if the prices were going up like this what are people who are having a hard time making ends meet in a decent economy going to do, once the economy tanks, if the economy tanks?" asks Lenore.

The group meets the first Friday of every month in a different location throughout the Poconos. Everyone brings something, even if it's just themselves. Lenore said, "You really don't know who is there to contribute and who is there to receive."

In addition to food, there's always some form of entertainment. This time, Promised Land Park Naturalist Jen Naugle is teaching the kids about the park's creatures. "It's a powerful concept of neighbors coming together to share food and good times together," said Eduardo.

Lenore and her husband don't call themselves heroes. They say their potlucks are successful because of the community effort. At one time they served 125 people, and not one of them paid for it. Lenore said, "That was one of our rules. You can't just give money or give food and say take this to the event. You have to show up. So it's as much about people connecting with people as it is about connecting people with resources."

Resources that seem to digest well with this group in an unsettling economy. Most items in the pot-luck dinners are donated, right down to the hand-made napkins and table cloths.

This dinner was the last of nine. The couple plans to take a break for the summer and try to pick it back up again in a few months.


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