SPRINGFIELD, Vt. — The Springfield Family Center has received a double play in generosity for their food shelf program and they are hoping to make it a triple play.
The recent spurt of liberality began with a donation of $800 from community members who wish to remain anonymous to be used to purchase food to replenish the stock of the Springfield Family Center’s food shelf program.
“We have had some generous donors in the community who are asking for a matching funds challenge to be put out into the community,” said Trisha Paradis, director of the Springfield Family Center.
Then in a second act of kindness, Morse’s Market in North Springfield offered the center’s food shelf program their discounted bulk rate to spend the money on top shelf items for the wholesale rate.
“We have always had a heart for the hungry and the Springfield Family Center,” said Belinda Morse, who at one time volunteered at the Springfield Family Center herself in the food pantry.
The Morses have no limit on how much can be ordered on this one wholesale order for the donation challenge.
“There is no cap. I say the more the merrier,” said Todd Morse, who heard about the donation challenge from an anonymous friend who is also involved in the Springfield Family Center donation match challenge.
Even the wholesale and delivery personnel are getting involved.
In November, the Morses, by recommendation from the same anonymous friend, had a food shelf donation box.
All in all they were fairly modest and tight lipped about the whole endeavor, saying it was their duty to pass good along to their neighbors.
“The wholesaler offered to deliver it directly to the Springfield Family Center pantry so there doesn’t even have to be a pick-up or exchange traffic to hold up delivery,”said Todd Morse.
Trisha Paradis said that the $800 donation is to be matched by other donations in the community. A dollar-for-dollar match is desired but Paradis said any amount would be a positive move forward in stocking their shelves.
“If we can get more people in the community to match the donation then it will fill our food shelf,” said Paradis.
She emphasized that the need is great and restocking is a regular necessity in order to serve the amount of clientele the food shelf serves.
“From October we had 414 households served, in November 262 households were served and in December the number of households was at 280,” Paradis said. “Springfield has one of the highest poverty rates. It’s hugely important that we are able to keep our food shelf stocked for the people we serve.”
However, the area served goes beyond just Springfield.
“We serve Springfield, North Springfield and Baltimore. People living in those towns will have access to our food shelf,” Paradis said. “We also do a community lunch here at the family center and people come and have lunch five days a week, Monday through Friday.”
The donations from this fundraiser challenge will only go to stocking the food shelf and will not go to the community lunch, which has a separate grant that provides for the program.
“The Morses are trying to reach out and help their community,” said Paradis about the intentions of Todd and Belinda Morse. “I’d like to see dollar-for-dollar match. But any matching would be huge. If anyone mails a check in for the match challenge and marks it as part of the food shelf challenge then we can earmark the donation as part of the match challenge.”
There are other options besides mailing in donations, including through their website, www.springfieldfamilycenter.com, which accepts PayPal, debit and credit card. The center also has a Facebook page that will communicate updates on the food shelf match challenge. Morse’s Market has one as well and regularly post their lunch specials.
The Morses opened the market July 16 and have said the community has been extremely welcoming and warm.
“People come in all the time and tell us stories of things that happened here and memories to share about ‘the little red market,’” said Belinda Morse.
The tentative deadline for the match donations is the first week of February.