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Food drive to aid pantry

News-Times, News-Times
Published 1:00 am, Thursday, April 29, 2004
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A reminder that the town's food pantry needs to be stocked throughout the year - not just at holiday time - takes place May 8. That's when the National Association of Letter Carriers, in partnership with the AFL-CIO, the U.S. Postal Service and United Way, sponsors its 12th annual food drive. Ann Piccini, director of the town's social services department, where the town's Salvation Army food pantry is located, is particularly pleased the drive is taking place now."People don't donate this time of year," she said, "so this drive helps keep our shelves filled until just before Thanksgiving, when people again start thinking of the pantry." The union effort, coordinated by Rich Crowther, customer service manager at the Newtown Post Office, asks for donations of nonperishable food, household and personal products. Working with postal workers are Boy Scouts from Pack 170, Girl Scout Troop 809, Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth baseball players and volunteers from every walk of life. Newtown residents may contribute non-perishable food items such as pasta and rice. Canned goods, toiletries, diapers, wipes, baby food, detergent and pet food are also sought. There's only one stipulation regarding packaging: items in glass containers are frowned upon because they break easily. Donations, in paper bags or even loose, must be left in, on or immediately next to a mailbox by 9 a.m. Volunteer drivers with identifying stickers on their vehicles - not mail carriers - will collect the donations, Crowther said."The more volunteers are involved, the less load there is for the carriers," he said. "It's not too late to be a volunteer." Food can also be brought to the Hawleyville, Botsford and Newtown post offices before 11 a.m. on Saturday. Donations from businesses are also welcome, Crowther said."That's very welcome," he added. Newtown residents interested in volunteering to be a driver for the 9 to 11 a.m. or 9 a.m. to noon shift or to be a food separator at the social services office in Town Hall South on Main Street should call the social services office at (203) 270-4330. Crowther noted that high school volunteers earn community hours for their service. Ÿ The Salvation Army Food Pantry is in the town's social services office in Town Hall South on Main Street. The pantry is open from 2 to 4 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, though "if they say they need it, we don't turn anyone away when the office is open," said social services director Ann Piccini. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.