Pantry awareness week a success

O nce again, the community showed its support for those in need.

Through the Food Pantry Awareness Week, the community of Whitehall provided thousands of food items and almost as many dollars to the Whitehall Ecumenical Community Food Pantry through a number of events, ranging from a school food drive to the second Nunziata Brothers concert on Saturday, Nov. 6.

School collections

The Whitehall Elementary and Junior/Senior High School each held food drives throughout the past week, with grade clusters competing against each other in the elementary school and homerooms in the high school.

“We had about 1,200 pieces of food that were donated between the two schools,” said Cheryl Putorti, who helped to organize the event. “The second grade cluster won at the elementary school, and Miss Mistretta’s homeroom was the winner at the high school.”

Putorti said she was proud of the accomplishment at the school.

“That was a big success that really helped out,” said Putorti.

Stuff-A-Van

The second annual Stuff-A-Van event was held at Legacy Banks on Nov. 4, with an increase in donations to the pantry.

“We collected approximately the same amount of non-perishables as last year, but our monetary donations doubled from last year,” said Roxanne Frasier, bank manager. “We sent checks totaling $553.78 to the Food Pantry this year.”

Frasier said they added more things to the event to help raise as much as possible for the pantry.

“This year we sold cotton candy, with the machine and supplies donated by Cheryl and Fra Putorti and home-made cookies which attributed to some additional monies,” said Frasier, who was the baker behind the cookies.

“As always Legacy Banks is committed to giving back to the community that we live in and this is just one of the goodwill projects that we participated in over the past year,” she added.

Concert

On Nov. 6, Will and Anthony Nunziata delivered their second performance at the Whitehall Junior/Senior High School auditorium to a large crowd.

“There were way more people there this year,” said Putorti. “That was great to see that people wanted to come back and they told their friends. There was a real buzz.”

Again, Putorti said the brothers spent time helping out in the community.

“The boys were at the school in the morning helping out the kids in the chorus and drama club,” said Putorti. “They also were at the Stuff-A-Van to help out there.”

Putorti said fundraising continued through the concert.

“We collected another couple hundred of pieces of food at the concert and made over $300 through the raffle that will all be given to the pantry,” said Putorti. The winner of the 50-50 raffle gave back their half of the money to go toward the pantry.

Results

Throughout the day on Friday, Putorti and others transported food from the school to the van at Legacy Banks and to the food pantry. Late Monday, food pantry manager Mark Koeble was still working to sort and store all of the food.

“This is really great,” Koeble said. “We had volunteers up here this weekend and we started in one room that was filled all the way to the door.”

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