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Operation Thanks a Ton

Troops in Afghanistan and Iraq got a little something from the area when Danny Jameson, President of Saratoga Specialties Company, sent about five cases of the signature Saratoga Potato Chips over there. The gratitude was massive and unexpected, he said, which is why starting Thursday, April 15, the company will challenge area businesses to join forces for Operation Thanks a Ton. The goal: gather 2,000 pounds of food by June1 to be split between the two war torn countries.

"We will absolutely meet our goal because we're committed as a company to make sure we do. But we need help; 2,000 pounds of chips is a lot of chips so if I can fill up boxes with other non-perishables like some of the wonderful sauces, dips, pickled products and specialty foods made locally, I'm sure [the troops] would love to receive them," said Jameson.

Jameson said he didn't want to name any names until he gets the definite head nod after the program's kick off, but teased that several manufacturers couldn't get "yes" out fast enough when he approached them.

"I have a feeling that it's just one of those things you feel good about doing and it's something real positive, so people don't mind taking part in that," said Jameson.

Jameson didn't spin in a circle and decide to send his notorious chips wherever his finger landed. He said he recently reconnected with a buddy from high school through Facebook and discovered he was commander serving in Afghanistan. Jameson's partner knew someone in Iraq and they sent over a care package. The response was more than they ever imagined or asked for.

"We got an inbox full of pictures and incredible thank you notes and personal messages saying how much they appreciate getting a little something from home. It was overwhelming and they're not obligated to respond to us or make homemade signs like they did," said Jameson. "I think sometimes they feel a little forgotten because over here, we tend to forget [the war] when it's not 24/7 wall to wall on the news, but it's ongoing there so they're so appreciative of what little we've done."

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