|Brandon Pepin, Mary Tuso, Heather Bump, Juan Padilla,|
Mark Hathaway, Chris Peterson, and Deb Tuckerman
give back through The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming's
"Food for Families" drive.
Preparation for the food drive began in February at KidStart, The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming's children's services program, where the Food for Families Committee identified 12 key foods to be collected for Head Start families. Next, each of 10 Arc locations focused on collecting 1-2 of the designated items. For example, peanut butter and jelly were collected at KidStart, spaghetti and sauce at the Hilltop Industries work center in Mount Morris, and macaroni and cheese at Hilltop's East Avon location.
Staff and program participants pitched in throughout the month of March, and particularly stepped up their efforts during President's Project Week, which is when the greatest number of donations were made.
"We collected oatmeal at our administration building," explains Public Relations Director Jeff Thomas. "Donations were slow and steady for the first three weeks. Then on Monday, March 25th employees suddenly stepped up with about 25 pounds in one day. That's a lot of oatmeal, and every item collected is a small but important step in ending hunger in this area."
Items collected included oatmeal (28 boxes), peanut butter (28 jars), jelly/jam (24 jars), macaroni & cheese (15 boxes), canned spaghetti products (13 cans), boxed pasta (11 boxes), granola bars (7 boxes), popcorn (5 boxes), and spaghetti sauce (3 jars). Cereal, soup, and pudding/fruit cups were also collected.
KidStart staff will distribute the food to Livingston County Head Start families from their Lehman Building in Groveland, located in the center of Livingston County.
The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming is one of 55 Chapters of NYSARC, a state-wide organization supporting approximately 60,000 people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and their families. President's Project Week is an annual initiative by the state organization to collectively conduct volunteer programs during a single week, sending a resounding message about NYSARC Chapters' deeply rooted connections to their communities.