Southern Tier Tuesdays: Bandera Family & Community Alliance awarded $2,000 grant

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Updated: Nov. 2, 2021 at 2:17 PM EDT
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(WBNG) -- The Bandera Family & Community Alliance is this week’s winner of a $2,000 grant from Upstate Shredding through Southern Tier Tuesdays.

The Bandera Family & Community Alliance is a non-profit group of dedicated volunteers committed to touching the lives of people throughout the Southern Tier. Volunteer Paul VanSavage said for over 32 years the organization has provided a free Christmas dinner for residents in the community.

“The dinner has been going on for over 30 years it was started by Mr. & Mrs. Bandera back 32 years ago and their son Bill Bandera Jr. has carried it on,” VanSavage said.

VanSavage said that 3,000 meals are served in Broome County with another 1,000 meals served in Norwich.

“We do part of the dinner in-house at the American Legion Post 80 as well as some other locations around town,” VanSavage said. “We also deliver about 1,000 meals on Christmas Day.”

Christmas meals consist of Turkey, Ham, Stuffing, Yams, Corn, Mashed Potato, Gravy, cookies, chips, applesauce, cranberry, drinks and desserts. VanSavage said roughly 130 turkeys are cooked during this meal.

“One of the interesting things is we try and follow the recipes that Mrs. Bandera had originally used,” VanSavage said. “The cookies are a great example we bake thousands of chocolate chip cookies using her original recipe.”

The Bandera Family & Community Alliance will be using this grant money to help reduce the rising cost of expenses to provide and deliver free Christmas dinners.

VanSavage said they hope to provide meals in-house this year, but the final decision will not be made until after Thanksgiving.

To get in contact with Bandera Family & Community Alliance you can do so here.

Southern Tier Tuesdays is a philanthropic endeavor of Adam Weitsman, owner of Upstate Shredding, and his daughter, Clover. For more information or to nominate a Southern Tier non-profit go to