Food Drive
Putnam’s Boy Scout Troop 21 joined forces with Cargill Council 64, Knights of Columbus, to collect donations of money and nonperishable food. Top: Scouts are shown here at the event at the K of C Hall. Above: Members of Putnam’s Boy Scout Troop 21 took a break from loading a truck with food. The drive netted $1,761 and 2,984 pounds of food. Photos by John D. Ryan.

PUTNAM — Needy people in the area are getting a helping hand, thanks to a combined three-week collection effort by a Putnam Boy Scout troop and a Knights of Columbus council, with support from four local churches and the public. Putnam’s Boy Scout Troop 21 and Cargill Council 64 joined forces for their 11th annual food drive, collecting $1,761 and 2,984 pounds – almost a ton-and-a-half – of non-perishable food.
The drive began on the snowy weekend of March 9 and 10, when Scouts and Knights passed out hundreds of distinctive bright yellow plastic “Scouting for Food” grocery bags at the Masses being celebrated at St. Mary Church of the Visitation in Putnam and Most Holy Trinity Church in Pomfret. The following weekend the drive was expanded to collections at the Putnam Baptist Church and the Congregational Church of Putnam.
Both the Knights of Columbus and Scouts BSA parent organizations have national food-collection programs for the needy. In 2009, that led to Cargill Council 64 and Troop 21 to start working together every year to assist local, needy people.
As part of the combined effort, people at the four churches were asked for monetary donations and to fill the yellow bags with groceries and bring them back. Knights and Scouts followed up and collected money and food at the churches through the end of the annual drive on March 31.
The drive also included a community collection of food and money at the Cargill Council 64 Knights of Columbus Hall on Providence Street. Meanwhile, customers were giving their donations to volunteers at Putnam Supermarket.
Later the Knights and Scouts brought the food to the non-denominational Daily Bread Food Pantry, operated by Interfaith Human Services of Putnam. Daily Bread Volunteer Project Coordinator Ann Kathi Peterson, said Daily Bread helps an average of 550 people every month, from Putnam, Pomfret, Woodstock and Eastford, based solely on need and they are seeing more need from senior citizens and families with children.
The monetary donations will be spent by Cargill Council in a dedicated program to provide food to needy people in the Putnam area.
The drive is over, but the area still has many needy people. Checks may be mailed to Interfaith Human Services of Putnam. P. O. Box 281, Putnam, CT 06260. Donations of non-perishable food for Daily Bread may also be left during business hours at the two locations of Joseph’s Jewelers, 153 School St. in Putnam and 158 Main St. in Danielson.


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