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Buffalo firefighters donate 1,500 lbs of turkeys

Through their union, the Buffalo Professional Firefighters Association, city firefighters delivered 1,500 pounds of turkeys to five area agencies: The Response to Love Center in Buffalo, St. Louis Church, Valley Community Association, South Buffalo Food Pantry and the Food Bank of Western New York.  

Firefighter union vice president Tom Barrett says a portion of union dues goes into a fund from which the union makes charitable contributions.  For for the turkey drive, he says, firefighters then chip in even more money from their own pockets.

"Last year we gave what I think was 700 or 800 pounds and this year we wanted to do a little bit more and double it," said Barrett. "Our firefighters responded, and besides the 'Good and Welfare Fund', each fire company donated a little more to help us do this."

At the Food Bank, registered dietician Christine Rivera spoke of how families beyond the City of Buffalo will also benefit from the firefighters' kindness.

"We service Erie County, Niagara County, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus County through our 350 agencies, so those agencies are running at full capacity right now, reaching out to all those families that are looking for some extra support during these holiday seasons," Rivera said.

Back at the firefighter union headquarters, Barrett told WBFO they are already setting a goal for next year, hoping to raise enough funds to buy and distribute 2,000 pounds of turkeys.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.