Milford scouts help bring Thanksgiving meals to 300 local families

MILFORD - The generosity of city residents helped Milford scouts deliver more than 300 Thanksgiving meals to local families this week as part of the 17th annual Thanks-For-Giving food drive.

The event, run primarily by local Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops in conjunction with Milford Family Services, collected 331 turkeys and more than $4,000 cash.

More than 300 volunteers, of which more than 150 were scouts or scout leaders, spent the past few weeks collecting the donations. Much of the total came in last weekend during a donation drive at Wasson Field.

“I was very impressed with the support of the people from Milford,” Tom Mercaldo, Thanks-For-Giving Food Drive chair, said.

“Normally we collect at every supermarket in Milford, but two supermarkets would not allow us to collect this year because of their COVID policies,” he said. “But the people from Milford drove to the field in large numbers and brought us food. It was a huge success.”

The scouts camped out at Wasson Field over two days, collecting and sorting food donations and staffing collection sites at local supermarkets. Scouts worked round the clock collecting frozen turkeys, non-perishable food items, and monetary donations. The drive culminates with food deliveries to local families.

Over the past 16 years, Thanks-for-Giving has distributed more than 130,000 pounds of food, 4,460 turkeys, and $33,000 to help feed more than 2,300 Milford families.

Mercaldo said this year saw the most food and money ever collected, at a time when the cost of food continues to rise. He said there was a drop in the number of turkeys donated, but overall, the haul for those suffering from food insecurity this holiday was impressive, he said.

Food deliveries were made to several charities, including Milford Food Bank, Cornerstone Food Pantry, John Rigley Food Pantry, First United Church of Christ Food Pantry, Saint Gabriel Food Pantry, Food 2 Kids, Truth and Life Ministries, Ronald McDonald House and StoreHouse Project.

Mercaldo said financial donations will be made to Beth El Shelter and other Milford area food and support charities with proceeds from the drive.