When my 9 year old was in preschool she wanted to donate food to people in need. A quick call to our town’s food pantry coordinator and we had a list of food items most in need. I spoke to her teacher about inviting the class to participate, and our family's first food drive was born. We spent the weekend making a donation box using food pictures cut from old magazines. I remember my daughter being very particular about what types of food we collected, healthy breakfast foods, and the response was overwhelming. The donation box was filled in a few days, and the kids were excited to learn they would be helping families in need, some with kids, just like them.
Five years later, and my daughter is still organizing food drives- only now she has her little sister to help organize it.
Over 4,000 bags of food were distributed to residents in our town last year, according to the West Hartford Division of Human and Leisure Services. That number is more than five times the amount distributed four years ago. As much as we have, there are many who do not. And the number of families who are hungry increases each year. We live in a beautiful and vibrant community, and I think it is our responsibility to take care of each other. I think if we are able to donate and help people across the nation and overseas, why not start with those in our own community. We may not be able to help everyone, but if we can help just one family, than that is a lot.So on Day 4 of our “25 Days of Giving”, we organized a neighborhood holiday food drive, making and handing out flyers to all our neighbors tonight. With candy canes in hand, the girls rang doorbells and invited families on our street to help those in need by participating in our Breakfast Food Drive. The drive will last week, and the girls are excited to see how much food we can collect. Stay tuned!
How to Give Back: To organize a food drive in your town contact your local food pantry. For West Hartford families, contact Suzanne Oslander in the town's Department of Human and Leisure Services at (860) 561-7580 or email SuzanneO@westhartford.org.