RUTLAND – With a big push from dozens of groups and businesses, donors set a record in the just-completed GMP Fill the Cupboard Challenge.
Far surpassing the 20,000-item goal set earlier this year, 27,199 food items were collected to benefit the Rutland Community Cupboard.
GMP will also donate $5,000 to the Cupboard next summer, 25 cents per item for the first 20,000 items collected, along with $500 in the name of The Vermont Country Store, which collected the most items in the annual challenge (with just over 5,000 collected!)
“This community continues to surprise and support us and members of our community who need an occasional hand,” Cupboard Manager Sue Bassett said. “The GMP Fill the Cupboard Challenge has become an important part of our annual fundraising and collection effort, and will benefit dozens of local families.”
Businesses, clubs, schools, sports teams, churches and other organizations held their own collections and delivered them to the Rutland Community Cupboard. Some groups went door to door to collect food, some collected items at local events, and some businesses collected donations from employees and made corporate donations as well.
“The drive has been blessed by tremendous support every year since it started,” said GMP Vice President Steve Costello. “This year, nearly 60 groups and businesses donated, and that was key to setting a record for the amount of food collected.”
The previous record was slightly more than 26,000 items.
In 2013, the Rutland Community Cupboard distributed more than 250,000 items to area residents, serving about 550 families each month.
Bassett said the working poor and senior citizens are among those who turn to the Community Cupboard for help.
“Oftentimes, they are in desperate straits before they come to us, so as a community, it’s critically important that we support one another,” Bassett said. “The Community Cupboard is a safety net for individuals and families, and the Corporate Challenge provides an annual reinforcement to that net to help ensure no one in need slips through.”