Bag the Community food drive in South Hadley collects thousands of donations

Hampshire County

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – Thousands of South Hadley residents went shopping Saturday, not for themselves but for those who will benefit from “Bag the Community” food drive.

The signs were out all over town Saturday. Volunteers delivered shopping bags to the homes of 6,000 South Hadley families. Bags they’ll fill with groceries that volunteers will deliver Monday to the South Hadley food pantry.

George Perez was only too happy to help neighbors in need as soon as a volunteers delivered his bag to the front door.

“I saw the man with a big bag and passing the empty bags around, so I went outside, picked it up and filled it up right away,” he said.

And when it comes time Monday morning to pick up George’s bag of groceries and take it to South Hadley High School along with thousands of other bags to be sorted and boxed, Amy Gray will again be among the volunteers picking up the bagful from thousands of homes.

“I expect a lot of bags, a lot of groceries we did last year,” Amy told 22News. “We did two routes and we filled up the back of my mini van both times.”

Some filled their food pantry bound bags on Saturday, others will wait until Sunday.

Big Y Store director, Jim LaConte, admires this volunteer program, he told 22News, “It’s a wonderful cause that the town does every single year.”

He noted, “They partner with Big Y’s, we have signs in the store, it’s a wonderful, wonderful program.”

On Monday morning, the high school will be the nerve center for the army of volunteers delivering bags full of food from thousands of homes and sorting the food items for later delivery to the town’s food pantry.

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