PEPPERELL -- For Pepperell residents, contributing to the local food bank can be so easy that you don't have to leave your car.
On Sept. 21, the Pepperell Aid from Community to Home food bank will hold its third annual Drive-through Food Drive, where residents can drop off nonperishable-food items at the PACH offices from the comfort of a driver's seat.
"People can drive up, and volunteers will unload the groceries and take them into the pantry, and then you can just drive off," PACH volunteer Jennifer Johnston said.
Volunteers will be waiting at Peter Fitzpatrick School, where the PACH offices are located, to receive donations. The event will be held rain or shine.
Johnston said the food drive is PACH's biggest fundraiser of the fall. Last year, it brought in about 90 grocery bags full of food.
"It's been a very successful fundraiser for us," she said. "It's done a lot to fill our shelves."
Combined with school food drives around Thanksgiving and Christmas, the donations help the food bank get through the fall and winter.
Pepperell residents can come twice a month to get a bag packed with a variety of groceries from PACH's food pantry. PACH serves about 50 families in Pepperell.
Specific items PACH is asking for include side dishes, such as pasta, rice, stuffing and potato mixes, and baked beans.
"There are also things that we're always in need of, like canned fruit, paper products and toiletries," Johnston said.
It is particularly important to donate as the weather gets colder, she said, and demand tends to increase.
"With the holidays coming, it can be a little tougher for people," she said. "We usually see an increase in clients over the winter."
Follow Chelsea Feinstein at facebook.com/chelseaestellefeinstein or on Twitter or Tout @CEFeinstein.