Lisa Marie Bower and Tina Hagerman had a lot on their metaphorical plate when they heard that the Montville Food Bank was in need.
And so they put aside – for a while – their idea of starting a $1 and more shop, and put their considerable energies into building up the food bank supplies.
In addition to asking for food outside the town's grocery stores, Bower and Hagerman are going to leave a brown bag with an attached flyer (see the pdf in the photo box) on every doorstep in Montville.
They’re asking you, if you can, to fill the bag with nonexpired food, clothing you’re no longer using, new hygiene items and/or, if it’s easier, a monetary donation.
Bower and Hagerman will pick up the bag on the date written on your flyer.
If you want to help, or if you have big items, or so much that it won’t fit in a bag, call Bower at 860-823-9763, or Hagerman at 860-908-5978. They’d be happy for your help, and they’d be happy to come and pick up your items.
Bower and Hagerman are being helped in the effort by Town Council member Billy Caron, who has been the liasion to the senior center, youth center and social services for years. Caron completely supports the women, noting that more than 140 Montville families use the food bank regularly.
Hagerman and Bower had great success in their first weekend collecting food at Stop & Shop. The donations jammed their van.
The friends, who are also a driving force behind the Montville Youth Football fund-raising programs, including Montvillopoly, work at Cumberland Farms.
Hagerman’s boss there noticed that the store had not been making charitable donations, and so Hagerman began looking into what groups in town were in need.
Until that started, she didn’t know that there was no homeless shelter in Montville, and no soup kitchen – and she’s lived in town, she says, for 38 years.
One hundred forty families are registered, and more families stop in during the month, Bower says. The food bank is in the social services building, a small white house just in front of the new town hall, and just behind the old town hall.
Hagerman and Bower are doing the brown-bag drive, and plan to be outside the grocery stores “until we freeze,” Hagerman says.
“We’ve got to fix this,” Bower says. “We need to take care of our people.”