Bristol-area fire departments launch food drive

BRISTOL — The 10th annual Fill the Firehouse food drive to benefit the Have A Heart Food Shelf in Bristol will take place Saturday, Oct. 28, from 9 a.m.-noon.
Each Firehouse in the five-town area — Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton, New Haven and Starksboro — will be open and accepting donations of non-perishable items. There will also be a drop off site in front of Shaw’s in Bristol.
The Food Drive began as a way to honor the father of firefighter Mark Bouvier, who was a POW in WWII and knew what it was like to be hungry. He felt that no one in America should go hungry, and so the food drive began.
In its first year, 2007, Bristol firefighters collected 3,000 pounds of food and cash donations. In 2014 Mark Bouvier asked the other four fire departments in the five-town region to get involved, since their communities also rely on the Have a Heart Food Shelf (HAHFS). The Addison Northeast Teachers Association also joined the food drive.
Since then to annual food drive has steadily increased the amount of donations. The 2015 food drive collected 4,560 pounds of food and $1,000 in cash donations. Last year the collection was 4,630 pounds and $1,571. This year the drive hopes to continue that trend, with a goal of 5,000 pounds of food and $1,600 cash donations.
The HAHFS currently serves more than 60 families a month. The need is always greater in the winter months. During the Holidays that number will increase to 100, and HAHFS has come to heavily rely on this food drive. It will fill the shelves and keep the food shelf running through the holidays and the winter months.
Not affiliated with the Vermont Food Bank, HAHFS is solely supported by the generosity of the five-town area. 

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