Holiday food, toy drive stocks the shelves for HIHS
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Hebron - posted Tue., Dec. 18, 2012
For years, Ted’s IGA has sponsored the Hebron Interfaith Human Services toy and food drive for the holidays. On Dec. 15, with just over an hour to go, resident trooper Dan Greenwood said that this year’s drive was looking to be highly successful. “I would say this is one of the heavier years,” said Greenwood. Already, the drive had filled the bed of a pickup truck and the inside of a state police cruiser, and donations were still coming in steadily. Greenwood was joined at the event by Hebron’s other resident trooper, Kyle Fitzgibbons, police cadets from Troop K, Seth Rivers and Chloe Dicosimo, and a number of volunteers from RHAM High School and Middle School.
On Dec. 17, HIHS Food Pantry Director Kim Bowers confirmed that the drive had been highly successful. In the midst of organizing toy distributions at the pantry, Bowers still hadn’t completed calculations for the event, but said, “By far, it was one of the most successful that we’ve had at Ted’s.”
On Dec. 18, Bowers planned to begin distribution to approximately 75 families from Hebron who had signed up to use the pantry for the holiday season, slightly up from the 65 families on average who have been utilizing the pantry on a regular basis for the past several months. For the holidays, the pantry tries to provide special items such as baking supplies, “to make the holiday season festive,” said Bowers. Local churches, such as St. Peter’s and Church of the Holy Family, have donated baked goods such as holiday breads and cookies. But Bowers said that all of the local churches, as well as philanthropic groups including the Lions and the Women’s Club, contribute to the holiday efforts at HIHS in some manner, whether through giving trees or toy drives of their own. “Around the holidays, it’s a true outpouring of community support to us,” said Bowers.
That holiday generosity helps to carry the pantry through the leaner months, which begin in January and last until the Boy Scouts replenish the shelves through their annual food drive in the spring. The summer months, as well, tend to be lean, said Bowers. “We really appreciate the generosity at this time of year,” she said. “It really helps to carry us through the rest of the year.”
The HIHS food pantry sources 90 percent of its food items through Foodshare, according to Bowers, where food can be purchased for 17 cents per pound; so monetary donations are also important to keep the pantry going. Food donations can be dropped off year-round at a collection box at Ted’s. Or they can be dropped at the pantry during normal business hours. Monetary donations can be sent to HIHS at P.O. Box 634, Hebron, CT 06248.
The pantry is located at 20 Pendleton Drive. Food pick-up hours are every other week, Tuesday, from 9 to 11 a.m., and Thursday, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. For more information, go to www.hebroninterfaithhumanservices.org.