West Hartford’s 11 elementary school PTOs will collect food for the West Hartford Food Pantry, and ShopRite has pledged to match up to a ton of canned vegetables.
By Michelle Bonner
In an effort to keep the shelves stocked at the West Harford Food Pantry, the West Hartford elementary school PTOs are reaching out to their communities launching the first annual town-wide elementary school food drives. Aiken Community Outreach Coordinator Corbin Woods spearheaded the movement after learning of the need for food following the holiday season.
“The food donations are plentiful before the holidays with many food drives,” said Woods, “but people forget that the food that comes in gets distributed quickly and the food pantry is depleted at the beginning of the year. We live in a town that cares about its neighbors and this is a very simple way to give back and get so many people involved in giving back as well.”
Joining forces with all 11 West Hartford elementary schools is ShopRite of West Hartford, which is sponsoring the event and has pledged to match up to one ton (2,000 pounds) of canned vegetables. “Debbie, the ShopRite team and I are committed to the fight against hunger in our community,” said Chuck Joseph, president of Joseph Family Markets, owner and operator of the ShopRites in West Hartford and Canton. “We are all happy to support this town-wide effort to create awareness of the problem and collect food for our neighbors in need. In particular, we love to see children learning the importance of giving back at such a young age and we are proud to help set that example.”
The elementary schools will stagger their food drives between now and June which will prove to go a long way in helping countless people who are in need of food.
“We are so appreciative and grateful to Corbin, ShopRite and all the elementary schools for this overwhelming assistance,” said Suzanne Oslander, the community partnerships manager for the Department of Human and Leisure Services. “The need in our community has grown incredibly. Since the recession started late in 2007 we went from providing 700 bags of food to more than 5,000 bags of food. We are now producing 100 bags more than we were 2 years ago. We can no longer look at someone’s zip code or the outside of their home and tell who is in need.”
The community is encouraged to drop off donations at their elementary school community during the following dates:
Aiken: January 30th – February 13th
Bugbee: June – Date TBD
Morley: February 2nd – February 13th
Charter Oak: February 9th – February 13th
Duffy: March – Date TBD
Webster Hill: February 2nd – February 13th
Norfeldt: February 2nd – February 13th
Smith: March 16th – March 27th
Wolcott: February 27th
Whiting Lane: Date TBD
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to have all our schools come together like this and support our friends and neighbors in need,” said Woods.
For more information on the West Hartford Elementary School Food Drives please contact Corbin Woods by email at [email protected].