The Hartford Food Pantry and Stewarts donated $400 dollars to the Hartford Central School’s lunch program Wednesday, March 26.
Pete Klaiber, a volunteer for the pantry, applied to the Stewarts Holiday Match Program last November. The Holiday Match Program is a donation program where Stewarts will match the amount of donations they receive. Customers of Stewarts can donate any amount, from the change of their purchase, to any amount they stick in the bucket. At the end, Stewarts tallies up the donations and matches the amount.
Last year, Stewarts raised $700,000 with the Holiday Match Program and donated an additional $700,000 to the charities in the areas they serve.
“Stewarts encourages you to use the money in the geographical area where it was raised as well as using it to benefit children under the age of 18,” Klaiber said.
He saw on the news a story about how there are children who go without lunches at schools because their families can’t afford it.
“I spoke with a lady in the cafeteria here at school and she said the same thing,” he said. “Children come in every day who can’t afford a lunch.”
After speaking with the other volunteers at the pantry, Klaiber asked Stewarts for their “blessing” in the use of their donation. Once he got approval, he met with the Hartford Superintendent Andrew Cook and Business Manager Joann Searles to let them know the good news. With the help from the Hartford shop’s Assistant Manager, Alina Shaw, the Hartford Food Pantry donated the money to the school’s lunch program.
“We could have put it into our budget and that’d be it,” Klaiber said, “but you’d be amazed at how much our one-horse pantry is supported. We are doing pretty well, so why not use it where it’s needed?”