Food drive to benefit residents in need

SOUTHWICK – Residents of Southwick, Tolland and Granville are being asked to open their hearts and pantries to those in need during the Boy Scouts’ Annual Food Drive Nov. 10-17.
In Southwick, Boy Scouts will go door-to-door Nov. 10, dropping off donation bags, while other volunteers will do the same in Tolland, and a donation bin will be placed at Granville Village School for donations. One week later, on Nov. 17, the scouts and volunteers will collect the bags and bins and bring them to Our Community Pantry for sorting.
Sally Munson, who oversees daily operations at the pantry, said the collection comes just in time for Thanksgiving.
“We are looking for donations of staples such as pasta, peanut butter and cereal, as well as Thanksgiving items,” Munson said.
Donations of stuffing mixes, canned cranberry and instant mashed potatoes would help make Thanksgiving special for families in need in the three towns, said Munson.
“They will be picking up their meals Nov. 20,” she said.
Anyone in surrounding towns who would like to make a donation can do so at Our Community Pantry, 220 College Highway, Southwick, on Mondays from 2:30-6 p.m., Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., and Thursdays from 4-6 p.m.
Munson said donations overall are down from last year and more families are in need.
“We have 131 families that signed up and it keeps increasing,” she said. “Just last week we had five extra families.”
The economy is the reason for both the decrease in donations and increase in need, said Munson.
“A lot of people’s unemployment has run out, and we see a lot of seasonal workers who have no work during the winter,” Munson said, adding that the amount of food stamps many families receive has also decreased.
Munson said some families have also sought help because of illness and medical bills.
Because Our Community Pantry is part of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, recipients do need to sign-up for meals and go through a brief registration process privately with Munson, and there are income requirements.
“It’s an easy process,” said Munson. “You also have to prove residency in one of the three towns we serve.”
For more information on the drive or Our Community Pantry, call (413)569-9876.

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