Another year, another stuffed bus, and more needy Waterford people served by Waterford people.
Friday, Waterford Youth Services held its third annual “Stuff the Bus” event. Elementary school students at all three Waterford schools were told to bring in non-perishable food items to school, which the youth services bureau picked up in a school bus.
This year, for the third time in a row, the bus was literally stuffed with food. Generally more than 3,000 food items are donated by the elementary school students, which are given back to needy members of the community, Waterford Youth Services Director Dani Gorman said.
“Every year, (the students) really exceed our expectations,” Gorman said. “And this year was no different.”
Where Does the Food Go?
The food is used for two different charities. The first is to make meal baskets for needy Waterford families for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, with the rest going to the Waterford Interfaith Food Locker, Gorman said.
Volunteers make up baskets for families for Thanksgiving and Christmas, Gorman said. For Thanksgiving, they are given all the food necessary to make a meal and a dessert, and for Christmas they are given all that, plus food for breakfast as well, she said.
The meal baskets are only given to Waterford families who meet Waterford Youth Service’s criteria, Gorman said. Either they are low-income families or they are people who have recently sustained a tragedy in their lives, she said.
For Thanksgiving, generally 70 families are served through the program, Gorman said. For Christmas, the number generally swells to about 110, she said.