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CVPS kicks off Fill the Cupboard Challenge

NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Steve Costello (802) 747-5427     (802) 742-3062 (pager)
For Immediate Release: Aug. 23, 2010

CVPS kicks off Fill the Cupboard Challenge

RUTLAND, Vt. – With the economy lagging and demand for food assistance high, Central Vermont Public Service today announced a 20,000-item goal for the 2010 CVPS Fill the Cupboard Challenge.

The annual event benefits the Rutland Community Cupboard.

Businesses, clubs, schools, sports teams, churches and other organizations are encouraged to register for the challenge, then collect food donations between Sept. 7 and 24 and deliver them to the Rutland Community Cupboard.  CVPS will donate 25 cents to the 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.

Participants should pre-register for the challenge by calling Chris Adams at 747-5424.

“This annual event has become critical to the Community Cupboard, and an example of this community’s grit and perseverance,” CVPS spokesman Steve Costello said.  “Dozens of organizations have participated in the past, and we’re hopeful we’ll have broad participation once again.  It’s important to this community.”

In 2009, the Rutland Community Cupboard distributed more than 209,000 items to area residents, serving nearly 500 families each month.

Participants in the Challenge can solicit food donations from employees, customers, vendors or others, and are encouraged to conduct their own food drives as part of the Fill the Cupboard Challenge.

“In the past, people have gotten very creative – offering their own incentives or holding contests around the Challenge to help drive donations,” Costello said.  “Some groups have held fundraisers and then used the money to buy food, while others have gone door to door to collect non-perishable items, or set up donation boxes in their businesses.  Simply asking for help is often all it takes.”

Community Cupboard Manager Sue Bassett said demand remains very high given the economic downturn and high unemployment.  “We’re seeing people who have never asked for help before,” Bassett said.  “The need is real, and it’s serious.  We rely on events like the CVPS challenge to get us through the fall each year.”

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 food items. Deliveries can be made to the Community Cupboard Monday, Wednesday or Friday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday between 4 and 6 p.m. through Sept. 24.

If you have questions about the Challenge, call Adams at 747-5424.

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