The Plainville Community Food Pantry was able to collect over 10,000 lbs of food donations during their 14th annual “Fill the Truck” food drive at Gnazzo’s. The food drive took place over a five-day span from Nov. 16 to 20.
“We owe a huge thank you to our community who came out to support us, and a huge thank you to Gnazzo’s,” said the director of PCFP, Susie Woerz. “Plainville takes care of Plainville. As someone once said to me, ‘There is nothing plain about Plainville.’”
In addition to the donated food, community members donated over $1,300 in cash, several Gnazzo’s gift cards at varying denominations, and about 30 whole turkeys, which are stored at Gnazzo’s.
“This food drive is very heartwarming, not only in the collecting but in getting to know the community,” said Laurie Davies, a volunteer from Plainville Methodist Church, who helped organize this year’s drive. “Sometimes people will give one can or one box of food. Other times, people will donate an entire shopping cart. It is so touching, and the town really supports it.”
Davies shared a moment she experienced this year at the food drive. A man came to Gnazzo’s on a bicycle. Davies gave her standard introduction about the food drive.
“He said to me, ‘I’m more on the receiving end right now,’” said Davies. “He went in, did his shopping, and when he came out, he put his change in the donation jar. He gave all he could give.”
For Davies and the church, she said it is one way they can fulfill a mission right within their community.
“This amount of food will help us get through the winter, but we do go through it fairly quickly,” said Woerz. “This will bring us back to where we should be in the spring.”
In 2017, PCFP distributed 104,453 lbs. of food total to clients, and received a total of 105,431 lbs. of donated food. The giving is continuous year-round.
“We are here for the community; for people on a fixed income, for the working poor, for the disabled,” said Woerz. “We hope families consider coming on our program to get the help they need.”
With one major holiday passed, PCFP now focuses on the Christmas season. Ongoing right now is their Secret Santa program. Plainville youth create a wish list and submit it to PCFP. Then, community members can access a child’s list and purchase as many gifts on their list as they choose, and donate them to the pantry, who will gift them to the child.
PCFP also has a toy night coming up, where parents can pick out a gift for their child. PCFP provides the wrapping paper, as well.
“All these children would have had a Christmas, but it would not be as special without the help of this community,” Woerz said.
Just around the corner is the pantry’s 23rd annual dinner dance, scheduled for Jan. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. The event includes a family style dinner, open bar, DJ, raffle prizes and a photo booth. Tickets are on sale for $75 per person. All proceeds benefit PCFP.
To buy tickets, become a sponsor, or donate a raffle prize, contact PCFP at (860) 747-1919.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Roy, email her at SRoy@SouthingtonObserver.com.