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Yonkers Horsemen Pack Beans For Needy

YONKERS, N.Y. – Cool beans.

A group of Yonkers Raceway harness drivers left the track behind this week in favor of an Elmsford food bank, where they packed hundreds of pounds of beans for needy families.

“As drivers, we are very competitive on the track, so it’s nice to get together to help the community,” driver Jordan Stratton said, according to a news release. “It makes you feel good. There is so much negativity in the world, that it’s particularly nice to get together to do something that will help people.”

Stratton and four other harness drivers were part of an entourage of horsemen and members of the New York Standardbred Owners Association who took part in the bean-packing frenzy Tuesday at The Food Bank for Westchester. There, they were joined by more than three dozen employees of the Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway who took part the hunger-fighting drive.

Together, the group spent two hours packing more than a ton and a half of navy beans that will be distributed to needy Westchester County families. Along with the two-hour volunteer effort, Yonkers Raceway and its horsemen pledged a donation of $1,000 to the food bank.

“Just knowing that you're doing something good for the community is very rewarding. You have to be grateful to be able to put food on the table, to have food to eat,” said driver Brent Holland, who created a formidable bean-packing assembly line with his wife and three sons. “I wanted my children to be here to understand how blessed they are, not to take good opportunities lightly, and to take advantage of opportunities to help."

Food bank leaders commended the group for its efforts.

“There is nothing special about this room, until you put people in it,” said the food bank’s Nancy Lyons. “Then the room comes to life; only goodness happens in this room. What an awesome connection to the most populous city in Westchester (Yonkers). In just a week, they’ll be feeding their neighbors from their work.”

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