PAWTUCKET â€” Pawtucket City Hall employees and members of the local community helped make a dent in the Winter Food Drive being coordinated by Progreso Latino and the Cesar Chavez Scholarship Fund to benefit residents of Central Falls, Pawtucket and Cumberland.
On Tuesday, Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien and Douglas Hadden, his director of constituent services and communications, delivered three large boxes of donated canned goods and other food items to the Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army facility on High Street is the holding site for the food items and will help with the dispersing to residents in need. â€śEverybody understands...it's a very difficult time out there,â€ť said Grebien. â€śThere is definitely a need and there is not enough food to go around.â€ť While Pawtucket has always taken part in the Winter Food Drive, the city this year became an official partner in the effort. He said that while the contents of the three cartons is actually â€śvery little,â€ť he hoped it would add up to help the cause.
Grebien said the three boxes represent what the City Hall employees had brought in since the food drive began on Martin Luther King Day, as well as what some residents had dropped off in two collection boxes. He noted that the food drive will continue through March 31, and residents are still encouraged to drop off donations either at City Hall, or at one of the many collection boxes that are set up in Pawtucket, Central Falls and Cumberland (a listing is provided below).
Marta Martinez, director of communications and fund development for Progreso Latino, said this is the third year that the Winter Food Drive has been organized. Over a dozen organizations in Central Falls, Pawtucket and Cumberland, including respective school districts and municipalities, work together to coordinate the food drive to help restock pantries that typically become low on provisions during the winter.
All types of non-perishable food items are needed, including canned vegetables, fruits and soups, baby food, cereal, pasta, sugar, coffee, tea, cake and pudding mixes and other edibles. Diapers in all sizes for babies and adult diapers such as Depends, tissues and toilet paper are also in demand.
Martinez said the Winter Food Drive is planned each year to span the birthdays of two well-known civil rights leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King and Cesar E. Chavez. It begins on January 16 with Martin Luther King Day and ends with the Annual Breakfast Celebration on March 31, the birthday of Cesar E. Chavez.
Last year, Central Falls and Pawtucket collected almost 5,000 pounds of food, Martiznez said. Now, with the addition of Cumberland, coordinators are committed to reaching a broader group of individuals in need in the Blackstone Valley. The goal for 2012 is to collect 6,000 pounds of food and to date, about 3,000 pounds has been received, she said.
There are Winter Food Drive collection boxes at the following locations:
â€˘ Blackstone Academy Charter School, 334 Pleasant St.
â€˘ Blackstone Valley Community Action Program (BVCAP), 32 Goff Ave.
â€˘ Blackstone Valley Community Health Care, 42 Park Place
â€˘ Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, 175 Main St.
â€˘ Debbie's Staffing, 125 Broad St.
â€˘ Fortune Fashions, 130 Broad St.
â€˘ News Cafe, 43 Broad St.
â€˘ Kids Club, 203 Concord St., Suite 301
â€˘ Pawtucket City Hall, Mayor's Office, 13 Roosevelt Ave.
â€˘ Pawtucket Public Library
â€˘ Central Falls City Hall, 580 Broad St
â€˘ Central Falls High School ELO Class, 20 Summer St.
â€˘ Central Falls School District, Boy Scouts Troop 3, 521 Dexter St.
â€˘ On the Go Laundry, 306 Broad St.
â€˘ Hidalgo Market, 765 Broad St.
â€˘ El Rodeo Market, 751 Broad St.
â€˘ Progreso Latino, 626 Broad St.
â€˘ Tesana Health Food Store, 862 Broad St.
â€˘ The Learning Community, 21 Lincoln Ave.
â€˘ Navigant Credit Union, 693 Broad St.
â€˘ Jamile Unisex Salon II, 746 Broad St.
â€˘ Cumberland City Hall, 45 Broad St.
â€˘ Colonial Bakery, 185 Broad St.
â€˘ Cumberland High School, 2602 Mendon Rd.
â€˘ Pedro's Barber Shop, 180 Broad St.
â€˘ Cumberland Wine & Spirits, 275 Broad St.
â€˘ Valley Falls Florist, 244 Broad St.
â€˘ Broad Street Hair Salon, 213 Broad St.