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Oneida County Irish Deliver 17 Tons of Food against Hunger on St. Patrick’s Day

Photos and story by Tom Loughlin
Group with boxes “Distribution team members await traffic flow through the Irish Cultural Center parking lot with a few of the 1000 emergency food donation “kits”.”

Tennessee Ernie Ford was made famous for with his 1955 Hit Song  “16 Tons.”  In 2021  Oneida County Hibernians and their co-workers loaded 17 TONS of emergency food on St Patrick’s Day at the Irish Cultural Center in Utica

‘ You load 17 tons and what do you get…?

A lot fewer people with a food deficit.

St Peter dontcha’ call me ‘cause I can’t go

I gotta stock the shelves at the food bank sto’ “

The latest Irish/American salvo against hunger was fired on St Patrick’s Day in Utica.

17 tons of nutritious, lifesaving emergency food kits, were loaded into the trunks of Central New York residents needing food help. 1000 kits each containing 34 pounds of food, were distributed.

Among the enthused, dedicated distribution team staffing the outreach was Notre Dame High School Freshman Brycen Brooks. Helping Utica Food Pantry and Compassion Coalition workers was a crew of about two dozen members of Oneida County Irish organizations including members of the Irish Cultural Center, and both the Men’s John C Devereux Oneida County Division #1 and Ladies Ladies of Knock LAOH.

-Brooks, grandson of former Utica Fire Chief and past Oneida County Hibernians President Russell Brooks and wife Marianne heads the Notre Dame High School food bank and volunteers at the Utica Food Pantry. Notre Dame granted Brycen a day pass so he could participate in the massive effort…a noble activity on a day of “playing hooky.”

“ Hibernian Jeffrey Isherwood of Rome halts the line of cars for workers at the Irish Cultural Center to load the 34 lb boxes of food into their trunks. 17 tons of food were distributed in 1000 “kits”.

“AOH Oneida County President Patrick Roach keeps traffic flowing into the Irish Cultural Center parking lot for the St Patrick’s Day emergency food distribution 1000 34 lb food “kits” were distributed.


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