Pack the Paramount food drive set for June 26, 27

June 26-27 — RUTLAND — With local food shelves continuing to see high demand for their services, organizers from WJJR and Green Mountain Power have announced plans for the 2015 Pack the Paramount Food Drive.

“Rutland is undergoing a renaissance, but the demand on local food shelves remains high,” said Steve Costello, a Green Mountain Power vice president and event organizer. “The working poor and many elderly residents and young families continue to need a helping hand.”

This year’s food drive will take place on Friday, June 26, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday June 27 from 6 to 11 a.m. The public is encouraged to bring non-perishable food items or monetary donations to the Paramount Theatre on Center Street in Rutland. The goal is to fill every seat in the historic theater with a box or bag of food, symbolizing the hundreds of families who need assistance in the Rutland area. The food will be distributed by BROC, the Rutland Community Cupboard, and the Salvation Army.

Organizers are asking student groups, clubs, businesses, co-workers and teams from the Rutland area to gather up food items for donation and deliver them to the Paramount. Local businesses can “adopt a row” by contacting Bonnie O’Rourke at 747-6883.

WJJR will broadcast from the theater from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 26 and 9 to 11 a.m. on June 27.

“This community has always taken care of its own, and Pack the Paramount is an opportunity to do just that,” said Terry Jaye, program manager at Catamount Radio. “And it’s a community-building event as much as a community-supporting event.”

Jaye said the event has provided some amazing examples of selflessness over the years, from small children using their allowance to buy food to donate, to entire families volunteering, sometimes including three generations.

All types of non-perishable food are appreciated, but certain items are in great demand. Peanut butter, jelly, canned tuna, pasta, pasta sauce, hearty soups, macaroni and cheese, cereal, coffee and tea, instant potatoes, rice and bottled juice are among the most popular. Other needed items include baby food, toilet tissue, paper towels, hygiene products and large-size items for families are greatly needed.

Cash donations, used to purchase food and other items for the food shelves, will also be accepted.

To learn more, call 802-747-6883.

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