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BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, November 13, 2014-If you answered, "3,000 pounds of elbow macaroni," you can continue reading this missive.

That's because the ton-and-a-half of pasta was the exact amount-give or take a two-pound bag-volunteers from Empire City, Yonkers Raceway and the Standardbred Owners Association of New York assembled for distribution during their annual visit to the Food Bank for Westchester.

It was ECYR's third annual visit to the Food Bank, which is located in Elmsford, about 20 minutes north of Yonkers. The gung-ho gang of about 25, including drivers Jason Bartlett and Jordan Stratton, did all of the compulsories.

We're talking double-bagging, scooping, weighing (again, two-pound bags) and packing the macaroni, which shall be part of thousands of holiday meals countywide. The newbies among the group were also given a tour of the Food Bank's giant warehouse.

"We often speak of people right in your own backyard who are in need," volunteer services manager Nancy Lyons said. "Well, there are 54 organizations we distribute to and partner with that are located right there in Yonkers."

"It was just a couple of hours out of my day, but I could see how much it means," Bartlett-part of the scooping section--said. "I've been here each time, and if they ask again, I would be happy to return."

As for Stratton, who multi-tasked between scooping and sealing, "I enjoyed it. (Jason and I) were able to work with some 'non-racing' people from other Empire City areas. Besides helping out a good cause, maybe we can turn some into racing fans."

(About the Food Bank for Westchester…Incorporated in 1988, the Food Bank for Westchester is one of eight regional food banks in New York State. It acquires, warehouses and distributes more than 7.2 million pounds of food annually to 265 frontline hunger-relief programs, including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, day care and residential programs serving the estimated 200,000 Westchester residents who are hungry or at risk of being hungry. In 2013, the Food Bank served 6,204,101 meals to Westchester County residents. Based in Elmsford, NY, the Food Bank is located in a 37,000 square foot warehouse and is home to Westchester's largest refrigerator and freezer. To learn more, or to donate to the Food Bank's Turkey Drive, please visit, or text FB4W to 88500. Located at 200 Clearbrook Road, they can be reached at (914) 923-1100)

Photos by Sean Hamrock

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