Margaretville — The Community Food Pantry (CFP) is expected to get a big boost Memorial Day Weekend when Peggy Bellar and Meade Camp of the Catskill Dream Team put their fourth annual Fighting Hunger Friday program into overdrive.
The pair has already launched this year’s campaign with social media posts, a website and early donation requests. But the main event is scheduled to begin in earnest on Friday, May 25 when the annual “paper bag” push begins in local restaurants, shops and food related businesses.
Record number of sites
More sites than ever are involved this year with nearly 40 different spots to donate as nearly every local restaurant places lunch bags on the tables, inviting diners who are enjoying meals “out on the town” to donate cash to those who don’t eat so well. One hundred percent of the proceeds go directly to the food pantry. Retail shops are also getting on board this year opening more outlets for giving.
Poverty and hunger are no strangers to Delaware County and as federal cutbacks in food programs are implemented, the need for food distribution in the county could reach crisis proportion. In just the last seven years, the food pantry has grown to serve 530 households. While the community continues to be generous year ‘round in donating boxed and canned non-perishables, the CFP must also have cash reserves to cover rent and other expenses, and to supplement the food deliveries with produce, milk and meat when those are in short supply.
The increased need and the success of Fighting Hunger Friday have led to some changes in the 2018 effort, not the least of which is the weekend when it occurs. Recognizing that there are many more people in the region and out in the community on a holiday weekend, Bellar and Camp changed the date of the annual event from Mid-May to the holiday weekend. As was true last year, the event will span both Friday and Saturday for the in-person donations in the FHF bags.
As in earlier years, the Catskill Mountain News has agreed to join Bellar and Camp in the fourth year of Fighting Hunger Friday (Saturday and Everyday)! The grass-roots fundraiser that benefits The Community Pantry has raised more than $11,000 for this incredibly important organization. Other original sponsors Agri- Foraging Food Safety, Inc. and Mod Media are also back this year, for the organization that is completely run by volunteers,
To celebrate year four, sponsors are reaching out to ask community members to consider opening hearts and wallets and give a little more. As Bellar puts it, “Give “4” your community! Give “4” your neighbors and friends! Give “4” a child in need!”