Hearts full of joy are helping to fill pantries full with food this holiday season.
Despite a dreary winter’s evening, carolers gathered inside the warm, dry confines of the Georgetown fire hall for a festive, if a bit smaller, 31st annual Caroling on The Circle event Monday night, Dec. 8. There, they sang traditional and Spanish carols and, along the way, helped collect some 31,000 canned goods and non-perishable items for local food banks.
“Even on a raw, rainy night, the community once again has come together to show its holiday spirit and tremendous generosity to help those who are less fortunate,” County Administrator Todd F. Lawson said. “So many families in this community will have a brighter holiday thanks to the kindness of their neighbors.”
Each year, Caroling on The Circle kicks off the holiday season for Sussex County, while serving as a community food drive to benefit local pantries. Started in 1984 as part of the Delaware First initiative, Caroling on The Circle continues to help those in need three decades later. To date, the community has donated more than 650,000 canned goods through the Caroling on The Circle program during the course of its 31-year history.
As part of the Caroling event, Sussex County once again called on the public to ‘Pack the POD’ by setting up a 14-foot-by-7-foot PODS storage trailer on The Circle. The unit served as a focal point for Caroling and to heighten awareness about the food drive.
Sussex County collects canned goods for the needy Monday night’s Caroling event, along with collections from Sussex County Council, County employees, numerous schools, groups and businesses leading up to the event, helped this year’s preliminary total top 30,849 items, eclipsing the 28,000 items collected in 2013. With three weeks still left in the drive, the County hopes to take the final total even higher.
The public can continue to drop off canned goods and non-perishable food items between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the County Administrative Offices building on The Circle or the West Complex offices on U.S. 113, both in Georgetown. The Caroling on The Circle food drive will continue until Dec. 31.
Lawson thanked the public and those in attendance at Monday night’s event, and acknowledged several participating groups. Those included County Council, County employees, Allen Harim Foods, Steve Class/Colonial East, the Delaware Manufactured Home Owners Association, First State Manufactured Housing Association, Fuqua, Yori & Willard, Little Einstein Preschool, PATS Aircraft Systems, Sussex County Association of REALTORS®, Georgetown Elementary, Georgetown Middle, Long Neck Elementary, Millsboro Middle, and Milton Elementary schools, as well as the Seaford High School FFA.
Items collected will be donated to approximately 15 area pantries, shelters and church organizations for distribution within Sussex County.