Thea Digiammerino

Hartford PAL Hand Out Food to Those in Need

The Hartford Police Athletic League gave 275 deserving families a holiday meal.

Police in Hartford want to make sure families can sit down at the table and enjoy a meal with their loved ones.

Ashely Rodriguez gave thanks as she and her four kids picked up a free Thanksgiving feast on Tuesday.

“It’s very important. Things are not as easy,” said Ashley Rodriguez of Hartford.

Rodriguez said she recently lost her job.

She was one of 275 deserving families chosen to receive a holiday meal from the Hartford Police Athletic League.

“We give them complete Thanksgiving meals from dessert all the up to their appetizers and everything in between,” said Peter Getz, the Hartford Police Athletic League vice president.

Getz said it takes community support and generous donations to pull this off.

This is now the sixth year for the event.

“It’s important for kids to have a meal on their plate. It’s important for their families to be able to give to their kids and their families like we would,” said Getz.

Also pitching in to help was the UConn men’s hockey team.

“To get our entire team down here to kind of bond with these kids and support them like they support us it’s awesome for us,” said Jordan Timmons, a UConn hockey forward.

Timmons was one of about 26 players who took some time off the ice to play with the kids or carry out food items.

“We talked to a few of the parents and a lot of the kids upstairs. They all walked in and had smiles on their faces. So that makes it a lot better,” said Timmons.

It’s a chance to give thanks and to realize the true importance of the holiday.

Rodriguez can appreciate those things even during hard times.

“We’re going to cook at home. We’re going to spend it at home together,” she said.

The league said they’ve been able to help 1,600 families and counting with this program.

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