SHIRLEY – The spirit of giving is strong in the town of Shirley this year.
More than 10,000 pounds of food was collected for Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry during the 31st-annual Scout Food Drive, up 18% from last year and setting an all-time record for the event.
Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Venture Scouts, along with other high school volunteers from Shirley and neighboring towns dropped donation bags at the homes of Shirley residents on November 8.
Residents were asked to fill the bags with as much or as little as they could comfortably spare. Donations were collected and sorted at the the Lura A. White Elementary School on November 15.
Because of Covid-19 safety protocols, the sorting took longer this year.
Volunteers worked outside and into the dark. According to Sara Balmos, one of the event’s organizers, “it ended up being lit by headlights.”
Once the food items were sorted they were transported to the Loaves and Fishes at Devens.
Loaves and Fishes serves the communities of Ayer, Devens, Dunstable, Groton, Harvard, Littleton, and Shirley.
Loaves and Fishes has a “no questions asked” policy.
Head organizer Joyce Reischutz notes that, “the pandemic has created more need, this is an important year.”
In the end, the town of Shirley stepped up to help fill that need.