Thanksgiving Done Right: Cold River Materials Hosts 2nd Annual Food Drive for Local Community Members
For the second year running, Cold River Materials hosted the Fall Mountain Food Shelf’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner Boxes charity event at its shop in Walpole, NH. Volunteers at this year’s event packed more than 1,000 boxes with fixings for a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. The boxes were donated to local community members who signed up because they were unable to afford to feed their families.
Beginning on Friday, November 20th, and continuing into the early hours of Saturday morning, volunteers from the Walpole community joined employees of Cold River Materials in packing the boxes with items for pick up. At 10 o’clock that morning, box recipients began showing up at the quarry and waiting in line to receive their donation order. The event lasted for most of the day to ensure that every single person who showed up went home with a food box.
“We fill approximately 1,000 boxes with everything you’d find in a Thanksgiving dinner, whether its potatoes, onions, apples, squash, cranberry, turkey and gravy. A complete meal is given out.”
—Gary Patch, Area Manager
Gary Patch, Area Manager with Cold River Materials, played an instrumental role in organizing the event this year and last. As he explains, Cold River Materials became involved to help continue an event which was facing several challenges, the biggest of which was the need for more space.
“This is all put on by the Fall Mountain Food Shelf,” he says. “They got into a bit of a problem a few years ago and they needed a facility. I happened to read about it in the newspaper, and I called them up and offered our facility. We have a very large shop, and it’s much bigger than what they were using.”
Penny van Alstyne, a Food Shelf volunteer of more than 30 years, says that if it hadn’t been for Cold River Materials, the future of the event would have remained uncertain due to the complications of traffic and space limitations.
“There were so many people coming in that traffic was getting bad,” she says. “There were a couple of fender benders, and the town didn’t have space to accommodate the event anymore. Cold River Materials stepping in really saved the day. It has made the difference in our success in the last couple of years as the event has grown.”
Mary Lou Huffling, Director of Fall Mountain Food Shelf, has also been involved in the
Thanksgiving Day event since the beginning and de-scribes Cold River Materials’ involvement as a blessing.
“It gave us room for the boxes, for all the volunteers, room for people to park and move through the lines quickly. It’s just awesome,” she says. “It’s a very loving, caring, joyous day in every way.”
In addition to Cold River Materials employees, and Northeast Paving team members who travel over the state line from Massachusetts, the event involves volunteers from the local communities as well. Over the years, Cub Scout groups have become involved as well as youth sports leagues and high school students.
Patch says that in addition to hosting and coordinating the event, Cold River Materials also helps with promotion.
“We’re very enthusiastic about it,” he says, “because it’s a terrific event for our community. So many contribute to making it happen, and it has a huge impact on so many people. We are very proud to be a part of it and contribute to keeping it going.”