WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– We here at News 8 want to thank all the viewers and others who came out and generously donated to our Gr8 Thanksgiving Food Drive on Saturday. But what happens to those donations after the food drive is over and how can people continue to give?
The generosity of News 8 viewers was on full display Saturday at the Connecticut Food Bank. Car after car pulled up to donate money, turkeys, and a variety of food items which really added up.
“We received 595 turkeys,” one worker told another in the Wallingford warehouse after the items had been tallied Monday afternoon.
Plus there was another 12,00 pounds of additional meats, 5,600 pounds of non-perishables, and 3,400 pounds of pet food.
From there warehouse workers, along with volunteers who donate their time and efforts, start the sorting process.
“Breaking food down by category, making sure that packages aren’t damaged, making sure that everything’s appropriately labeled,” said Paul Shipman with the Connecticut Food Bank.
Volunteers then put together food kits which can be distributed in a touchless manner.
“We want people to have protein and then some vegetables and then sometimes chips,” said volunteer Rebecca Fang.
While she and two other volunteers fill new boxes with food, another volunteer breaks down old boxes in a back room.
“Most of the boxes now are from turkeys,” said volunteer Ed Colburn.
“Before the pandemic we had almost 300,000 people in our state that were struggling from hunger,” said Shipman.
Since then he says local agencies have seen a fifty percent jump in people seeking help.
The need is greater during the holidays but so is the spirit of giving and folks at the Food Bank hope that spirit continues all year long because the need will.
The Gr8 Thanksgiving Food Drive continues through Tuesday virtually. Monetary donations can be made through here or the News 8 app.
“Those donations are very powerful for us,” said Shipman. “We can turn every dollar into food to help provide two meals.”
Meaning the money can continue to feed families throughout the holiday season and possibly beyond it.