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West Hartford Mayor, Police Chief and Other Dignitaries ‘Help Bag Hunger’

West Hartford Police Chief Tracey Gove poses with a customer during Help Bag Hunger at ShopRite. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Joseph Family Markets, owner and operator of ShopRite in West Hartford and Canton, hosted ‘Help Bag Hunger’ Tuesday to raise awareness and funds for local food pantries.

West Hartford Police Chief Tracey Gove poses with a customer during Help Bag Hunger at ShopRite. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Police Chief Tracey Gove poses with a customer during Help Bag Hunger at ShopRite. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

By Ronni Newton

One grocery shopper at the ShopRite on Kane Street in West Hartford showed some surprise Tuesday morning when he realized that the man at the end of the register, ably placing his groceries in reusable bags, was actually West Hartford Police Chief Tracey Gove.

In honor of September’s National Hunger Action Month, Joseph Family Markets hosted “Help Bag Hunger” events at both their West Hartford and Canton ShopRite stores. Funds were raised through voluntary donations at the registers.

Community leaders were invited to serve as honorary grocery baggers Tuesday morning in order to bring greater visibility to the cause. Honorary baggers included Gove, West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor, West Hartford Police Lt. Eric Rocheleau who heads the Community Relations Division, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Barbara Lerner, Effie’s Place owner John Paindiris, Playhouse on Park Executive Director Tracy Flater, and West Hartford Human Services Community Partnerships Manager Suzanne Oslander. [Editor’s note: I was thrilled to be asked to be an honorary bagger, too. I didn’t break any eggs!]

According to Joseph Family Markets Community Relations Manager Carrie Titolo, since 2010 the company has contributed more than $151,000 to local hunger-fighting initiatives.

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Playhouse on Park Executive Director Tracy Flater (right) and Lt. Eric Rocheleau of the West Hartford Police Community Relations Division at their stations at ShopRite. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Playhouse on Park Executive Director Tracy Flater (right) and Lt. Eric Rocheleau of the West Hartford Police Community Relations Division at their stations at ShopRite. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

We-Ha.com Editor Ronni Newton with her partner, cashier Diana Flynn. Photo credit: Carrie Titolo

We-Ha.com Editor Ronni Newton with her partner, cashier Diana Flynn. Photo credit: Carrie Titolo

West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor (left) and Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Barbara Lerner 'Help Bag Hunger.' Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor (left) and Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Barbara Lerner ‘Help Bag Hunger.’ Photo credit: Ronni Newton

From left: Effie's Place owner John Paindiris, Ronni Newton, Police Chief Tracey Gove, ShopRite Manager Lindsey Larson.

From left: Effie’s Place owner John Paindiris, Ronni Newton, Police Chief Tracey Gove, ShopRite Manager Lindsey Larson.

With fellow honorary grocery baggers (from left) Eric Rocheleau, Suzanne Oslander, Tracey Gove.

With fellow honorary grocery baggers (from left) Eric Rocheleau, Suzanne Oslander, Tracey Gove.

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