People wait in line for free boxes of food outside Mary Nelson Youth Center

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The season of giving arrived early this year. Community activist Mary Nelson got a head start in the city of Syracuse on Friday by giving back to those in need.

A bright light was shining over the Mary Nelson Youth Center on Friday, while people waited in line for a community food giveaway. For Syracuse native, Rhea Holmes she wanted to make sure she arrived early, getting there at 7:00 a.m. Holmes said she walked 15 minutes to the center, earning the first spot in line.

“I thought it was going to be crowded but it wasn’t. Nobody was here but me. So I pulled my chair out and sat outside,” said Holmes.

But more people would soon show up, patiently waiting for volunteers to unload a tractor-trailer. Inside the tractor-trailer, 35 pallets worth of food are being given to the entire community for free.

“Food is so expensive now and for them to come and be able to pick this stuff up and go home and kids have a snack. They come home from school and have a school snack, that’s what I am looking for,” said Mary Nelson, Syracuse community activist.

And so are those in need.

“Mary Nelson helps the community. So I am very proud of that. I am happy that I am part of this community to be able to get the help that I need,” said Holmes.

“People like all of us in this community things are so high these days and your food stamps and stuff is not enough to go around, and we really need the food,” said Dawn Dunlap, Syracuse native.

Nelson makes it happen with help from G&C Foods in Syracuse. The wholesaler donated hundreds of boxes worth of food, including taco kits, granola bars, cereal, and much more. Nelson allowed everyone waiting in line to take as many boxes of food home with them as they want, hoping it lasts a few weeks or more.

“To see the people here, that means so much to me. If we have so many resources but bringing food to families and bringing things they need that’s the best feeling ever,” said Nelson.

A gift of kindness that Nelson keeps on giving.

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