At 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 15, Pawling Rotary volunteers, led by club President Jeff Asher and Vice President and event Chair, Ann Godesky, organized a cadre of helpers to collect food and other items at the Pawling Hannaford for the second annual “Stuff the Bus” donation drive, benefitting the Pawling Resource Center Food Bank. Among those on hand to assist were members of the Civil Service Employee Association, which included CSEA President Jeff Stevens and many others. The Pawling Resource Center was also represented by a number of volunteers. Joining this enthusiastic band of community volunteers were Hannaford’s hard-working employees coordinated by store manager Darcy Milazzo, all of whom set about the task of stuffing the school bus donated by the Pawling Central School District with sorely needed items for the Resource Center’s Food Bank.
The Pawling community was unstinting, as shoppers bought and brought bag after bag of needed items out to the curb to be placed into the bus. Hannaford donated boxes of bulk items that were rolled out of the store on two large dollies and were then loaded into the yellow school bus by those on hand, forming a human chain in order to assist each other with the bus stuffing process.
At 1:00 P.M. the bus was driven over to the Resource Center at 126 East Main Street where volunteers assembled to unload more 1700 pounds of food items, paper goods, personal care items and baby and infant needs into the center, where they are now available to Resource Center clients.
“We received 214 bags, or 1701 pounds of food and personal care items,” says PRC Executive Director Terry Ariano. “Thank you to Hannaford for their generous donations and for sponsoring this event. Thank you to a generous Pawling community and to the amazing folks who organized and participated, from the PRC Board, Rotary, CSEA, and Pawling Schools to Hannaford! And thank you to many dynamic, energetic volunteers.” During the drive, Hannaford arranged for a contribution box at the site for anyone who wished to make a cash donation. Those shopping at Hannaford on Saturday contributed more than $400.00 as they opened their hearts and wallets in support of this community-wide effort.