Dozens of volunteers completed the final leg of the 2021 Hunger Heroes Food Drive on Saturday.  Volunteers gathered at Keith Middle School in New Bedford to assemble more than 1,000 food baskets headed to needy families throughout the Southcoast.

Tons of non-perishable food items were donated to the United Way of Greater New Bedford over the past few months.  Food was collected at more than 30 locations in the area, schools, businesses and organizations.  The public also did its part, dropping off food at the Buttonwood Park Warming house on Saturday, November 13th.  Radio Stations Fun 107 and WBSM worked with the United Way for several weeks, encouraging listeners to make donations.

Ken Matias / TSM Intern

All of those donations were transported to Keith Middle School for sorting and distribution.  The United Way's Vice-President of Marketing and Community Engagement, Victoria Grasela described the effort by the donors and the volunteers as special. " The best part of this drive is really awareness for food and security in the community and then also bringing people out to help their neighbors," said Grasela.

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The food baskets prepared by volunteers on Saturday included all you would want for your Thanksgiving meal; stuffing mix, instant potatoes, cans of vegetables, gravy and cranberry sauce.  A gift card was included to enable families to purchase a turkey or ham, plus a large pie from the Table Talk Pie Company.

Ken Matias / TSM Intern

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell was among the many volunteers working Saturday.  "I'm trying to do my part and getting food out to people who need it. This year especially the pandemic continues to drag on and there are a lot of folks in need, it's a great event to support the United Way".

The food baskets will now be delivered to food pantries throughout the Southcoast, and will be distributed to needy families early this week.  The United Way of Greater New Bedford and Townsquare Media salutes all those who donated food items to fill the 1,000 Thanksgiving baskets, and all those who volunteered their time to make the Hunger Heroes Food Drive a success!