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AmeriCorps offers turkey dinner, bingo

Albany Police Department AmeriCorps cadets dish out a holiday meal before bingo Wednesday for Albany Housing Authority residents at the Boys & Girls Club on the 700 block of West Society Avenue.

Albany Police Department AmeriCorps cadets dish out a holiday meal before bingo Wednesday for Albany Housing Authority residents at the Boys & Girls Club on the 700 block of West Society Avenue.

ALBANY -- Dishing out turkey with all the fixings Wednesday for residents of the Albany Housing Authority, Albany Police Department AmeriCorps cadets staffed the serving line.

"I like helping people and meeting the people in the community," said Cadet Jamaer Proctor, no relation to police Chief John Proctor. "A big part of this is getting to know people."

About 10 cadets helped with dinner and the bingo game that followed. Although the canned and non-perishable food packages were said to be prizes for bingo, there was a guarantee that everyone at the meal would walk out with a prize.

Those at the meal were above 45 years old and residents of O.B. Hines, Thronateeska or McIntosh housing developments. The cadets also donated food to a local food bank, the Lord's Pantry and at least four families in need, said police Sgt. Denise Dawson-Barnes, the director of the AmeriCorps program.

"This is the fourth year we are having this dinner and bingo," said Dawson-Barnes. "The slogan is 'Your world, your choice to make it better.' We are partners with the Albany Housing Authority in this."

Enjoying her turkey, Vicky Norris said her day was better because of the meal and the cadets.

"They are doing a good job," Norris said. "I'm glad they have this here for us. They are so nice."