A spooky kind of way to boost town’s food pantry

By LISA CAPOBIANCO

STAFF WRITER

What began 15 years ago with two haystacks and a life-size wooden cutout of Ichabod Crane at the Bucci family’s home, turned into a Halloween extravaganza to support the Plainville Community Food Pantry.

Last Wednesday on Halloween night, the 4th Annual Halloween food and can drive took over the Bucci family’s spooky, decorated home at 62 Metacomet Rd., where 415 pounds of donated food and $50 in monetary donations came through for the pantry.

“It means a lot to us that they incorporate our needs into their event,” said Scott Unnever, warehouse manager of the Plainville Community Food Pantry.

Noting how stunned his family was when they saw the number of people who came during the first year of the Halloween house, Daniel Bucci said the haunted bash has grown since then, piece by piece. Every year, Bucci, along with his wife and son, sees at least a thousand visitors come to their home on Halloween night.

“Both sides of the street are lined with cars. It’s just really stunning to see the amount of people who come,” said Bucci, adding how the Halloween gets set up in less than two weeks.

The biggest addition came when young dancers from the YWCA New Britain started performing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” dance. Last Wednesday, at least 20 dancers convened at the Bucci family home, which marks the YWCA’s biggest performance yet.

“It was our biggest year yet with the number of dancers,” said Bucci, adding how the performance has added more choreography.

The Halloween show grew again four years ago when the Bucci family decided to collect donations for the food pantry.

Bucci said the Halloween food and can drive marks a perfect time to support the food pantry, since the holiday season is not far away.

This past summer, donations went down for the food pantry, said Unnever.

“We ended up having to buy a lot of food. We’re hoping that with the season, and more events like this, we’ll really do better to try and catch up a little bit, so we can come out of this year stronger,” said Unnever.

Looking ahead to next Halloween, the Bucci family is planning a few surprises, including a new supply of masks, more skeletons, and more smoke.

“We found a new source of power to add probably double the amount of smoke we had this year,” said Bucci.