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BF area businesses compete in food drive for Our Place

Our Place is a daytime shelter and food pantry at 4 Island St. It serves families in Rockingham and the surrounding area and in Walpole and North Walpole, N.H. For more information, call 802-463-2217, write ourplace@sover.net, or visit www.ourplacevt.org.

BELLOWS FALLS—Several local businesses are competing to see which can come up with the most donations in a food drive to benefit Our Place Drop-in Center’s food pantry.

Erica Wojchick, a graphic designer at Sonnax Industries, has challenged her business neighbors in a five-week drive, with each week having a different theme.

Week one was proteins, week two was food for kids’ lunches, and week three will be whole grains and sauces. Fruits and vegetables and kids’ weekend snacks follow in the final two weeks.

Among the businesses rising to the challenge are Connecticut River Transit, Whitney Blake, and Vermed.

According to Wojchick, CRT’s contribution has soared this year from a bucket a week to more than 300 items a week since it began offering free rides on The Current in exchange for food donations.

The drive has been going on for at least 10 years at Sonnax, Wojchick said, with the challenge extended to other businesses four or five years ago.

She said she began the project to make a difference and to ease the need to decide between eating and heating for many families.

Joining Wojchick’s efforts recently was Sonnax employee Steve Cheney, who continued his annual tradition of raising money for Our Place by cooking up a huge spaghetti lunch for the employees, featuring sauce made from his homegrown tomatoes.

“Our community has been so generous in giving to Our Place this holiday season,” said Our Place director Lisa Pitcher. “We owe a special thanks to Erica for organizing the themed food drive and for getting other businesses involved.”

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Originally published in The Commons issue #285 (Wednesday, December 17, 2014). This story appeared on page A4.

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