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Project Feed the Thousands launches campaign for food and funds

Fund hopes to raise $80,000 and food donations for 200,000 meals

BRATTLEBORO—Project Feed the Thousands has begun its 25th annual campaign against hunger in the community.

The regional food drive, which runs through the end of the year, seeks to raise $80,000 in cash and collect enough nonperishable food items to make 200,000 meals.

According to a news release, numerous businesses, schools, and other organizations are already at work creatively orchestrating food and cash collections by organizing assemblies and meetings, offering special promotions, and hosting special events, all specifically designed to aid in the drive.

Market 32 (formerly Price Chopper) and Hannaford supermarkets, along with the Brattleboro Food Co-op, are serving as collection points during the campaign, together with numerous other local businesses.

“Project Feed the Thousands is not only this region’s largest community food drive,” said Project Co-Chair Kelli Corbeil, owner of WTSA Radio. “Its mission impacts more individuals in this area than any other organization that I can think of. One out of every eight households in our area is facing hunger, and one in four children will go to bed hungry tonight.”

Jeff Morse, project co-chair and president of River Valley Credit Union, calls the goal “ambitious,” and he says that “achieving it will be challenging.”

Started in 1994 by Larry Smith, then of WTSA Radio, and George Haynes, former President of Brattleboro Savings & Loan, Project Feed the Thousands has continually strived to fill a need that hasn’t declined.

The closure of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station and the sale of the dormant plant by its owner, Entergy, has also meant the loss of a major donor to the fund.

“Donating is easy,” Corbeil said. “We’re broadcasting from area grocery stores for an obvious reason — this is where community members purchase their food. We want people to pick up an extra item every single time they shop.”

This year, donations of nonperishable food items to these food shelves will help feed thousands: Groundworks Food Shelf, St. Brigid’s Kitchen, and Loaves & Fishes Community Kitchen, all in Brattleboro; Guilford Food Pantry; Bread of Life Food Pantry in Vernon; Hinsdale Food Pantry; Our Place Drop In Center in Bellows Falls; Putney Food Shelf; and Townshend Community Food Shelf.

Tax-deductible contributions may be sent to Project Feed the Thousands, c/o River Valley Credit Union, P.O. Box 8366, Brattleboro VT 05304 or donated online at projectfeedthethousands.org.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #488 (Wednesday, December 5, 2018).

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