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Marines bring Thanksgiving dinners to needy families in Freeport

The Marine Toys for Tots program hosted a

The Marine Toys for Tots program hosted a pre-Thanksgiving feast and distributed toys to underprivileged youth and families Wednesday at Rachel's Waterside Grill in Freeport. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Marines came to Freeport on Wednesday, not for any military activity but to provide free Thanksgiving dinners to hundreds of needy families.

The United States Marines Toys for Tots program organized the event, with the food donated by local businesses, residents and the Marines.

Marines in full dress uniforms served the meals to the families at Rachel’s Waterside Cafe. They also handed out toys.

They were joined by Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder.

“This holiday season is a time to reflect on those who are less fortunate," Ryder said. "Serving meals to those in need is a great way to give back to the community and see first hand how many people are still struggling and in need of assistance. My family and I were honored to work with the Marine Corps today to be able to pay it forward and provide much needed meals to our homeless.”

If not for the program, the families might have gone without a Thanksgiving meal, officials said.

The Marines Toys for Tots Program is the nation’s largest holiday gift program for children.

Toys from communities across Nassau and Suffolk counties are collected by individuals and businesses and then distributed by the members of the armed services to local underprivileged youth. 

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