The United Way of Greater New Bedford received a boost Saturday for its annual Hunger Heroes Food Drive. Hundreds of donors dropped off food at the Buttonwood Park Warming House, assisting the United Way in helping reach its goal of 1,000 Thanksgiving food baskets for needy families. Volunteers, including staffers from the United Way, WBSM and Fun 107 were on hand to meet residents and unload food.

This is the seventh year that the United Way has sponsored a holiday food drive. Victoria Grasela, the United Way's Vice President of Marketing and Community Engagement, said it couldn't work without generous donations from area residents.

"We're collecting items that are the general staple at the Thanksgiving table, and next week we will package 1,000 meals for our community," she said.

Many area residents donate food every year, like Chip Cunningham from New Bedford.

"Just trying to help out during the holidays," he said.

Jill Lemeiux works at a daycare center in Fall River.

"We just wanted to help donate to to the less fortunate," she said. Lemeiux's boss told her a few weeks ago they were taking part in the Hunger Heroes Food Drive. She showed up on Saturday with a "full carload of stuff."

Kasey Silvia / TSM

The Hunger Heroes Food Drive actually began weeks before when the United Way began collecting food donations at more than 30 locations including businesses, schools, and other locations.

All of the food collected at those locations along with the food collected Saturday will be transported to Keith Middle School in New Bedford.

On Saturday, November 20, dozens of volunteers will put together the food baskets for delivery to food pantries throughout the Greater New Bedford area. The pantries will then distribute the baskets, plus a gift card to families in need.

To all those who donated, a big thank you from the United Way of Greater New Bedford and Townsquare Media.

United Way of Greater New Bedford Hunger Heroes Food Drive 2021

Hundreds of donors dropped off food at the Buttonwood Park Warming House, assisting the United Way in helping reach its goal of 1,000 Thanksgiving food baskets for needy families.