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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Helping hands at the Essex Area Food Bank

by Kyle Reid

With the holiday season comes a desire to lend a helping hand to those in need. Nowhere was that more evident than at the Essex Area Food Bank on Saturday, where Essex Rotarians and volunteers from the Union Gas Helping Hands in Action program volunteered to pack up a huge contribution, which will feed 125 families in need this holiday season.

The Essex Rotarians, with the help of a grant from the Union Gas Helping Hands Program, made a huge contribution earlier lostweek to the Food Bank’s annual Christmas Basket Program. Volunteers from both organizations gathered at the food bank on Saturday to help pack up the goods for those who will utilize the program.

The contribution will provide 125 area families facing financial distress with Christmas Baskets. The Rotarians, through fundraising and community contributions, provided many of the items for the program, including canned fruit, turkeys, potatoes, and a variety of other staples for a family to have a holiday meal. Jeff’s No Frills provided much of the food at a discounted cost to help out with the cause.

Dawn Docherty, who coordinates the Christmas program for the Food Bank, called the contribution significant.

“It means everything,” Docherty said. “They supply all of the food for us.”

While the supply of food was certainly of help, the Food Bank likely wouldn’t have been able to distribute the bulk of the food items without some serious extra manpower. Rotary and Union Gas volunteers were eager to roll up their sleeves to help, and there were plenty of smiling faces at the Food Bank on Saturday, despite the hard work.

Many hands make light work, or so the saying goes, and the food was quickly packed up to be sent out, to the delight of Food Bank volunteers.

“We’re very grateful for all of the help,” Docherty said. “We wouldn’t be able to do it without [the help]. We’re just sort of the middle guy, it’s the people who donate to us and help out.”

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