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Pantry food donations welcome on Haymarket Day

Hundreds of people are expected to come out and enjoy the Haymarket Day festivities from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. They can bring canned goods or other nonperishable food items to donate to the Haymarket Regional Food Pantry located in a refurbished house next to the Haymarket Police Department on Washington Street.

The mission of the Haymarket Regional Food Pantry, Inc. is to eliminate hunger in the community and surrounding areas. The nonprofit receives donated goods as well as corporate sponsor donations and funds from organizations. “And, thank goodness for that,” said Eileen Smith, who volunteers as the pantry’s marketing director.

Smith, of Gainesville, told touching stories of people trying to cope with stressful financial circumstances. “The stories really break your heart. We now have 125 regular families; that’s up by 30 percent from last year. There are some really sad cases; elderly on disability who can’t make ends meet and younger families, too. I could go on and on; and, these are our neighbors,” she explained.

Celeste Corrigan of Haymarket volunteers as the pantry’s director. She told a story with a happy ending. “One man came to us and was out of work for several months. But when he got a job, he came back and brought food to the pantry,” she explained.

Dozens of framed “Certificates of Appreciation” hang on one wall inside the pantry showing how many businesses, individuals, churches, schools, scout troops and community organizations have pitched in to help the pantry. “This is an entire community coming together, as this wall of certificates shows,” Corrigan said.

Read the full story in the Sept. 2 issue of the Bull Run Observer.

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