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November 04. 2012 8:27PM

Littleton Food Co-op partners with pantry to provide holiday meals

Littleton Food Co-op administrators and staff members plan to work throughout November with the Good Neighbor Food Pantry to collect food for holiday baskets that will be distributed to as many area families as possible.

As part of the effort, the food pantry will also receive all cash donations collected at checkout canisters throughout the month. The pantry will also receive part of the proceeds from Pizza and a Partner Night, Nov. 16, according to co-op manager Ed King.

"The Good Neighbor Food Pantry provides assistance to dozens of families in the greater Littleton area, and we welcome the opportunity to work with the food pantry during the annual drive to fill food baskets for Thanksgiving," King said. "We are thankful every month at the co-op for the support our customers give to the Partner of the Month program."

The Good Neighbor Food Pantry, located at the Franconia Community Church, provides food to more than 40 families in Littleton, Lyman, Landaff, Lisbon, Franconia, Easton, Sugar Hill, and Bethlehem each week throughout the year, according to the organizers. The pantry accepts food items all year, from cereal and pasta to canned goods, baking staples, and peanut butter. "We're always in need of food," said the pantry's Annie Payette. "A good donation is anything that you would want in your own cupboard."

The food pantry creates holiday food baskets at this time each year with the fixings for a full Thanksgiving meal. This year, workers will assemble more than 600 Thanksgiving food baskets for more than 450 families. Each will contain a turkey, stuffing mix, bread, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, cranberry sauce, gravy, and pie ingredients. The food pantry works with area social service agencies, and local schools, churches and businesses for the annual holiday food drive.

"The boxes are filled the week before Thanksgiving with a lot of help from area high school students," Payette said. "It's such a big job, we'd never get it done without them."

The food pantry is open to accept donations year-round, Mondays through Thursdays from noon to 3 p.m. Payette suggested people call 823-8421 before bringing food to ensure someone is there to receive the donations.

The member-owned co-op at the intersection of Cottage Street and Route 302 also maintains a food collection bin year-round. To further support the holiday food drive, it will sponsor a can-for-can drive to benefit all local food pantries on Nov. 10, when the store will match all canned food donations up to 500 items. For more information, or to become a co-op member, visit www.littletoncoop.org.

bhookway@newstote.com


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