Police & firefighters to deliver 360 pumpkin pies to N.S. seniors

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NORTH SMITHFIELD – The unions representing police and firefighters in North Smithfield are teaming up to add a little extra sweetness to the Thanksgiving holiday for older residents in the town’s four housing complexes.

The groups will deliver 360 pumpkin pies this week to those living in The Meadows, Gatewood Apartments, Deerfield Commons, and Colonial Village. Firefighter Steven Provost, who serves as North Smithfield Fire & Rescue’s advocate for the elderly, has plans to drop off the pies to the the buildings, which house residents age 55 plus, with help from others in the departments.

It’s a combined effort between North Smithfield Professional Firefighters Local 3984 and the International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local 410 to spread some extra cheer this holiday season.

“It means a lot to people who don’t have a lot of family to be with around the holidays,” explained N.S. Fire & Rescue Capt. Brian Gartland.

Gartland said the initiative came about after the groups reached out to both the town food pantry and North Smithfield schools, only to learn that both had already received enough donations to help provide Thanksgiving to others in need this year.

The organizations were able to get the names of two additional families that needed Thanksgiving baskets – filled with the turkeys and side dishes to make a complete holiday meals with help from local stores Walmart and Stop & Shop – which were dropped off this week .

But the town’s emergency staff hoped to do something more.

Both unions kicked in funds, and the individual pies for each of the combined total 360 residents were purchased at cost from Li’l General. Provost contacted management at each of the four buildings to organize their own distribution.

“Every resident will get a pie,” said Gartland. “It’s just a nice gesture.”

Provost, who has spearheaded the effort, had planned to make all the deliveries himself, but family obligations held him back this week. Others, including Gartland, a former union president who serves as captain on Provost’s shift, have stepped in to help.

It’s a small part of the groups’ ongoing efforts to give back to the community. In past years, the organizations have made similar gestures of goodwill, such as donating Christmas trees to those in need, and delivering roses to the residents at Saint Antoine.

“I’m proud of the firefighters and the police officers, that they want to step up and help,” Gartland said.

 
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