Friends of the Poor Sponsoring Three Thanksgiving Programs

Friends of the Poor is sponsoring three community-based programs to help those in need this Thanksgiving: The Thanksgiving Dinner for Adults and Elderly, the Family to Family Thanksgiving Food Basket Program, and the Interfaith Prayer Service. In light of the current pandemic, each will be carried out in a different style than they have for the past four decades.

The Interfaith Prayer Service, which kicks off holiday programming by celebrating the gratitude, joy, and hope that are a part of every faith tradition, will be held on Friday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m at Temple Hesed.  All are welcome to join.  

The Thanksgiving Dinner for Adults and Elderly, initiated by the late Sister Adrian Barrett, IHM in 1976 with 24 guests in need of a meal and family to share it with, will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 23.  Dinners will once again be packed as take-outs and handed out to those in need outside of the Scranton Cultural Center, 420 N Washington Ave, Scranton, from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. in a drive-by event due to the ongoing pandemic.  

Volunteers will distribute the meals on the corner of North Washington Avenue and Vine Street.  Meals will also be provided to those adults and elderly who were previously transported to the dinner through a partnership with Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging and the Junior League of Scranton.

The Family to Family Thanksgiving Food Basket Program, directed by the Robeson family, will continue in the same manner as the COVID-19 Emergency Food Distributions that have been held since March 18. 

On Wednesday, Nov. 24 in the parking lot of the Armed Forces Reserve Center, 3401 Olyphant Ave, Scranton, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., volunteers will place the groceries needed for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in the car trunks for all those who need it.  

For the past decade, over 2,500 families have been served from theThanksgiving basket program alone.  Due to the pandemic and increased need in our community over the last year and a half, we expect to serve up to 3,500 families at this year’s Thanksgiving distribution.

Friends of the Poor, the Robeson Family, Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging, and Scranton Area Ministerium, are proud that in times of great uncertainty and increased need, our community has come together to find a way to continue our great Thanksgiving traditions.

We humbly ask all people to reach into their hearts and donate whatever they can. The Robeson family has ordered over $150,000 in food items, including 3,500 turkeys and trimmings to make the baskets. A donation of $30 sponsors a family of four. Please send your donation of $30 or whatever you can afford to:

Family to Family Program 
PO Box 13, Scranton, PA 18501

**Donations may also be made by texting “thanks” to 570-525-5956**

Friends of the Poor is looking for donors to cover the cost of the 76 30lb turkeys that are ordered, along with other food and takeout items. Call the Friends of the Poor office at 570-340-6086, email, or send donations to:

Friends of the Poor
Thanksgiving Community Dinner
2300 Adams Ave., Scranton PA 18509

Friends of the Poor would like to note that 2021 marks 45 years of our community’s commitment to and compassion for our less fortunate neighbors, who would otherwise go without a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. The success of these events would not be possible without your support.  

ALERT: Scam Targeting Elderly

alertLackawanna County Area Agency on Aging is warning the elderly residents of our communities to be on alert for people posing as our Agency’s employees and asking for personal and/or financial records.

Please request the proper identification before allowing anyone into your home or giving any personal information. If you have questions, please call the Aging office at 570-963-6740.”

Tax Defer Program Kicks off in March

seal5A tax defer payment program to provide assistance for the elderly of Lackawanna County will kick-off on March 1 for individuals who meet the income guidelines of the initiative.

The County’s Tax Claim Bureau’s “Extension For Elderly/Deferral of Taxes” will offer eligible persons 65 years of age or older an opportunity to extend or defer the period of time to pay their taxes.  The overall goal of this program is to prevent them for losing their residences and/or the equity in their homes as a result of unpaid real estate taxes.

The program was enacted by the Commissioners on Sept. 21, 2016.  It is being administered by the County’s Area Agency on Aging and the Scranton Lackawanna Human Development Agency (SLHDA).

To be eligible, an applicant’s household income must be equal to or less than the maximum household income necessary to qualify for a property tax or rent rebate under the Senior Citizens Rebate Act.

To determine eligibility, the Tax Bureau and Area Agency on Aging will review tax return documents, homeowner’s insurance data and income information.  If the applicant meets the requirements of the program, an additional three-month tax payment extension would be granted.

After this point, if the owner desires to continue to live in the residence and cannot afford to pay the taxes the Tax Claim Bureau may stay the tax sale and defer payment until such time as title to the property is transferred or the owner is no longer the sole occupant of the property.

Once the title to the property is transferred and the eligible owner is no longer the sole occupant, the taxes and simple interest shall be due.

For general tax information, call the Tax Claim Bureau at 570-963-6734.

For applications, guideline reviews and assistance, contact the Area Agency on Aging at 570-963-6740 or SLHDA at 570-963-6836.