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November 5, 2012

Food drives set to fill pantry at Our Neighbors' Table

AMESBURY — Our Neighbors’ Table is gearing up for its busiest month of the year with a whole slate of food drives in advance of Thanksgiving Day, including one on Saturday and another at the polls on Election Day.

The organization got permission to set up a table in the Amesbury High School cafeteria while polls are open, and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. the group will be accepting donations from people before or after they vote.

“It’s a very popular model,” said Lyndsey Haight, director of Our Neighbors’ Table. “Across the country lots of towns hold a food drive at their election sites, which helps them get great turnout.”

Haight credited Amesbury High School senior Evan King, vice president of the AHS Student Athletic Leaders and a member of the ONT Food Drive Committee, with jumpstarting the Election Day food drive idea and helping make it a reality.

“We have group meetings and I brought up the fact that I’d be able to help out because election day is at the high school,” King said. “We figured since so many people are coming to vote, it would be a perfect time to have a drive and bring in lots of food.”

This past Saturday marked the beginning of the Boy Scout Food Drive, which will benefit Our Neighbors’ Table as well. The Boy Scouts will be leaving bags on people’s doorsteps, which residents can then fill up with food and leave out again on Saturday, Nov. 10, when the Boy Scouts will return to pick them up.

As Thanksgiving gets closer, the organization will be working to help supply those in need with Thanksgiving turkeys and other holiday fixings. The organization will be distributing on Thursday, Nov. 15, from 1 to 7 p.m., though preregistration is required.

The Amesbury Police Department will also be carrying on its annual “Fill-A-Cruiser” tradition. The police will be leaving a cruiser in the parking lot of Stop & Shop on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., where residents can fill the cruiser to the brim with food.

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