RUTLAND–Aiming to fill the Rutland Community Cupboard with everything from tuna and pasta to cereal and peanut butter, Green Mountain Power announced on Aug. 25 a 21,000-item goal for the 2015 GMP Fill the Cupboard Challenge.
Businesses, clubs, schools, sports teams, churches and other organizations are encouraged to register for the challenge, then collect food donations and deliver them to the Rutland Community Cupboard between Sept. 7 and Sept. 30. GMP will donate 25 cents to the Community Cupboard for every item collected, up to a total of $5,000. The company will also donate $500 in the name of the group that collects the most food.
“The Cupboard Challenge has brought hundreds of people together over the years for the benefit of thousands of others,” said GMP vice president Steve Costello, who has helped organize the event for more than a decade. “We encourage businesses, clubs, sports teams, co-workers, families and schools to use the event to build bonds within their group while supporting families and seniors in need.”
By year-end, the Rutland Community Cupboard is expected to have distributed more than 270,000 items to local residents, serving hundreds of families each month. For Giancola, who is taking over the Cupboard’s management from the retiring Sue Bassett, events like this make her position much more than just a job.
“Like any community, we have challenges, but more than any place I know, the greater Rutland community seems to work together when the chips are down,” she said. “Events like this are inspiring, because they not only help fill a need, they create special ties that connect us and bring us together.”
Participants can solicit food or monetary donations from employees, customers, vendors or others, and are encouraged to conduct their own food drives as part of the Fill the Cupboard Challenge.
“The more creative people are, the better the results,” Costello said. “We encourage people and businesses to come up with unique ways to inspire donations and draw attention to the event.”
Participants should pre-register for the challenge by calling Bonnie O’Rourke at GMP at 747-6883 or Kelly Giancola at the Cupboard at 747-6119.
Deliveries can be made to the Community Cupboard Monday, Wednesday or Friday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and Tuesday andThursday between 4 and 6 p.m. through Sept. 30. Participants may deliver food to the Community Cupboard as often as they like, and should identify their organization as a participant in the Challenge when dropping off donations.
For more information contact Bonnie O’Rourke at 747-6883.