Each November, United Way of Greater New Bedford collects food donations to create Thanksgiving baskets for families in need. If it were not for these efforts, many local families would not have a traditional Thanksgiving meal to celebrate the holiday.

This spring, United Way decided to duplicate that program for another noble cause. Hunger Heroes - Spring Edition addresses the food insecurity experienced by local students during school vacation week. Kids rely on the breakfast and meal plans provided by the school to get through the week. During spring break, kids don’t have access to those packaged meals and snacks. United Way of Greater New Bedford stepped in to fill the gap. Unfortunately, this year’s gap is wider than in the past due to the pandemic. Lost jobs have taken a toll on young families struggling to make ends meet.

Photo Contributed by United Way of Greater New Bedford

1420 WBSM and FUN 107 partnered with United Way to host a food drive to kick off the Hunger Heroes Project on Saturday, April 3. Thanks to our sponsor, Cottage Street Motors, and the generous donations made by members of the community, we are proud to announce that Hunger Heroes Food Drop raised 2,670 pounds of food to benefit local kids this April at the Buttonwood Park Warming House.

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The non-perishable items accepted at the event were cereal, peanut butter, jelly, macaroni and cheese, instant mashed potatoes, canned soup, healthy granola bars, canned/packet tuna, sugar-free apple sauce, and sugar-free fruit cups. United Way provided pasta, sauce, and healthy juice boxes.

Photo Contributed by United Way of Greater New Bedford

The main packaging event will be held on Saturday, April 10 at Keith Middle School.

We are so grateful for everyone who played a part in this. It was a chilly morning to be out there sorting through the donated goods, but I was so happy knowing that a child would not have to go hungry because of this event.

Victoria Grasela is the Vice President of Marketing and Community Engagement at United Way of Greater New Bedford. Her appreciation for those who donated goes beyond measure.

“This community continues to amaze us with their generosity and support," Grasela said. "We can’t thank those who dropped off food enough!”

Photo Contributed by United Way of Greater New Bedford

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we couldn’t have volunteers from the public participate this year. Instead, station staff and members from United Way of Greater New Bedford worked together to collect the donated items from cars and sort through all of them so hundreds of boxes could be packaged, weighed, loaded onto the truck, and transported to the storage unit for the following week’s event.

United Way is also offering an online option as well so you can order right off the wish list of necessary items and have them delivered to the office in advance. Please click HERE for that link.

Photo Contributed by United Way of Greater New Bedford

Thank you to all who helped make this food drive a success. Hunger Heroes Food Drop - Spring Edition would not have been possible if it weren’t for the help of our community sponsor, Cottage Street Motors. All collected items will benefit United Way of Greater New Bedford and the Hunger Heroes Project.

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