T he staff at Community Bank is teaming up with the Whitehall Food Pantry to combat local hunger.
The bank will host its second annual food drive, dubbed the Fall Food Frenzy, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, outside the bank at the corner of Main and Saunders Streets.
Staff will be collecting non-perishable food items and monetary donations, all of which will benefit the Whitehall Community Food Pantry. They will also be grilling up food and serving refreshments to everyone who makes a donation.
As a measure of good faith, branch manager Holly Rabideau said the bank has pledged to make to make a sizable donation to the food pantry
“Community Bank will be donating the first $250. We hope this will encourage the community to team up with us and the food pantry to make this a successful event,” Rabideau said.
Last year’s event was the first time organizers had hosted the food drive and it was successful enough to give it another try this year.
“Last year we knew the shelves were low and being a community bank, we’d thought we’d do what we could to help out.” Rabideau said. “This is our second year and it’s something we’re going to try and do every year and make it an annual event.”
She said organizers set a specific goal of 500 items last year, but this year is hoping to get just get “as much as we can.”
The Whitehall Food Shelf has seen some lean times over the last several months as demand keeps pace with or exceeds donations.
Although several local organizations have stepped up to help-most recently during last weekend’s Fall Free Festival where the Sea Harbor Tavern donated proceeds from food sales-food is still very much in need.
Fortunately with school back in session, many of the region’s children are able to get at least one or two well balanced meals there, but the food pantry is hoping to stock the shelves with the holiday season rapidly approaching.
Mark Koeble, Whitehall Food Shelf director, told organizers that the pantry is particularly low on cereal, although all the staples-tuna, bread, peanut butter, soups, stews, low-sugar fruit juices, etc.-are in need.
Staff will set up a tent outside the bank where patrons can stop by and donate items. Hotdogs will be available for those who get hungry and Apple Hill Orchard will donate an apple to everyone who makes a donation. There will also be lemonade available.
Anyone who is unable to make it Saturday can stop by during the week and drop off donations.
The Whitehall Food Pantry serves 30 to 45 families from Whitehall, Clemons, Dresden, Comstock and Dresden.
The pantry is open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.