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Dougherty County Police help Neighbors in Need

Photo by Avan Clark

Photo by Avan Clark

ALBANY -- In a change of pace, Dougherty County Police Department personnel used their paddy wagon to deliver goods to a local charity instead of jail.

Police delivered 20 turkeys and enough canned sweet potatoes, beans, corn, peas, stuffing and pumpkin pie mix to feed 20 individuals at St. Clare's Neighbors in Need Friday morning.

"This is the sixth year for us," said Lataria Candidate, administrative specialist with the county police. "We collect enough money in-house to help feed 20 families of those less fortunate."

With cash and donated goods, the bill for the 20- family Thanksgiving dinners came to more than $560, Candidate said.

People lined up before 7:30 a.m. to receive the dinners, said Sister Veronica Weygand of the Missionary Franciscan order.

"This gift will help tremendously. We have a lot of first-timers asking for our help," Sister Weygand said. "In this economy in general, it has been difficult for people. Companies and organizations have cut back on donations."

People hovered around the charity at 2005 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive while officers unloaded the dinner fixings from the support services truck. About five volunteers and two staff members were to handle storing and distributing the food.

"We really appreciate what they are doing here," said Lorine Jordan, 60, who waited for a dinner with her husband, Walter, 62. "This will make us a nice Thanksgiving."

The charity is open for most of the year and is always looking for volunteers, Sister Weygand said.