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Next week, on March 18, United Way of North Central Massachusetts is hosting a food packaging event for local food pantries.

“These meals help the food pantries meet the basic needs of our community, so families don’t go hungry,” said Wally Dwyer, president of North Middlesex Savings Bank and the 2014-2015 United Way campaign chair.

The bank and Devens Common Center are premier sponsors for the event in partnership with United Way.

Volunteer registration and information is available on the United Way website,

Volunteers will help assemble 20,000 meal packages from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Devens Common Center.

The packaged meals will be given to food pantries in Athol, Devens (Loaves & Fishes that serves Ayer, Groton, Harvard, Littleton, Shirley), Gardner, Templeton, Winchendon, Fitchburg, Leominster, Townsend and Pepperell.

“Thanks to our generous premier sponsors, the North Middlesex Savings Bank and the Devens Common Center, and our caring volunteers, this great event will create 20,000 meals to fight hunger in our communities,” said Fran Longton, volunteer coordinator of the United Way Volunteer Center.

Anyone with questions about the online volunteer registration can contact Fran Longton at 978-345-1577, ext. 311 or email her at

As the saying goes, many hands make light work.

Many hands will be needed on March 18.

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