Editor, The Cheshire Herald:
Last month, the Cheshire Food Drive, Inc. took a chance and held its 47th annual town-wide food drive. To say that the Board of Directors was unsure if it would be successful during a pandemic is an understatement.
We need not have worried, however: together, our community donated 9,600 total pounds of food and other necessities to the Cheshire Food Pantry and thousands of dollars to fund Cheshire’s Food Voucher Program.
We offer our great thanks to Stop & Shop for letting us distribute shopping lists and collect food inside the store; to the First Congregational Church for continuing to allow us use of their green for the weekend; to Bozzuto’s for again donating a truck in which to put the donations and for transportation; to Cheshire Public Schools for their Dress Down Day that resulted in a truly inspiring number of dollars raised for the Food Voucher Program; to Cheshire Academy for stuffing that awesome Turkey Bus; to the other community and student-led groups who ran successful ancillary food drives; to those who volunteered their lawns so that we could use our signs to advertise; to the many people who drove up to the green with their cars completely filled with food for others; to those who brought a couple bags or even just a few items in person, including teens and younger (you are seen and appreciated); to the very few volunteers on the green who did the work usually done by the many; and to all of you — individuals and businesses — who dropped off or mailed in cash and checks, or donated thru Venmo or our website to fund the Food Voucher Program.
In addition to the opportunity to bring the town together, a big reason for holding the annual Cheshire Food Drive is to raise awareness of the Food Voucher Program. This valuable program, administered through the Cheshire Human Services Department, provides $40 or $60 monthly vouchers to Cheshire residents that can be used to purchase any food items at either Stop & Shop or Big Y. The Food Voucher Program was created to be used as an emergency or stopgap measure; if a voucher might be useful to you or someone you know, contact Human Services at (203) 271-6690), and please spread the word about this program.
This year has been filled with many disappointments, but the success of this food drive is a wonderful testament to the power of community, even in adversity. For more information about the Food Voucher Program and Cheshire Food Drive, Inc., please visit CheshireFood Drive.org. We thank each and every one of you for helping to feed our neighbors.
Board of Directors
Cheshire Food Drive