Editor, The Cheshire Herald:
On Nov. 2 and 3, Cheshire Food Drive, Inc. held its 46th annual town-wide Food Drive. Individuals, families, students, local businesses, and others came together in a grass-roots effort to donate over 24,000 individual food items for area pantries and to raise thousands of dollars for the Food Voucher Program.
The number of food donations made is impressive: over 13,000 pounds (6.5 tons) in total was collected from the community with most going to the Cheshire Community Food Pantry and “gently” expired food accepted by Master’s Manna in Wallingford. Thank you to these organizations for helping to feed those in need. Thank you also to the town’s Human Services Department for administering the Food Voucher Program – without the money raised during our Food Drive, and throughout the year, this worthy program would not exist.
The annual Cheshire Food Drive is truly a town-wide event, and we couldn’t do it without the First Congregational Church, who graciously allowed us use of their green; Bozzuto’s, who again donated a truck for the weekend; and Ace Moving in Cheshire and Iron Mountain in Bristol, who gave us the hundreds of boxes into which we sort donated food. Big thanks also to Cheshire Public Schools for allowing food collection in the schools and making us a recipient of a “Dress Down Day,” and to Dattco for providing a school bus and driver to transport thousands of donations from Dodd Middle School to the green.
Thank you to Elim Park and Cheshire businesses who partnered with us and collected food in the weeks before our drive, and to Stop & Shop for allowing our volunteers to collect food and monetary donations outside the store over the weekend. Thank you also to the many local businesses who generously donated food and coffee for our many volunteers on the green: Bagelicious, Vespucci’s, Cheshire Coffee, Shef’s Bagels, Bella’Gio, Old Bishop Farms, Subway, Rossini’s, and Main Street Caffe. We are fortunate to be the recipients of a bounty of generosity from the local community.
We are so thankful for our amazing volunteers. Over the weekend, including Friday afternoon when the donations from schools and businesses arrived, we always had help on the green to collect, count, and sort food donations as well as set up and break down all the tables. Special thanks for this to the National Honor Society and Ich Dien from Cheshire Academy; many Cheshire High School students, including those from MechaRAMS; Leaders Club from the YMCA; as well as Quinnipiac University industrial engineering students and Professor Joanne Alvarez-Oh for making our sorting process so much more efficient.
We also thank the many Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops who helped collect food and monetary donations outside Stop & Shop, and did so with enthusiasm. We so appreciate everyone’s hard work and fantastic attitude.
Lastly, thank you to the people of Cheshire for helping to feed our neighbors. For 46 years you’ve donated food to help alleviate the food insecurity in town. Since the 1980s, you’ve donated money to the Food Voucher Program to help neighbors buy food in an emergency or if they need just a little help getting through the month. Cheshire Food Drive, Inc. continues primarily because of individual donations from the community, and we thank you for your continued support.
For more information about the Food Voucher Program and Cheshire Food Drive, Inc., please visit CheshireFoodDrive.org.
Board of Directors
Cheshire Food Drive, Inc