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Sunday in Country Food Drive raffle sale

MILLERTON — Sometimes when the need is at its greatest, the efforts needed to take care are more challenging than ever.

That’s the case with the annual Sunday in the Country Food Drive (SITCFD), which since 1992 has provided holiday turkeys to families in need. It started with feeding just two local families and has grown to feeding hundreds of families throughout the Tri-state region. Serving 11 food pantries from Hillsdale to Pawling in New York and Canaan to Cornwall in Connecticut, last year 600  food baskets for each holiday were distributed at Thanksgiving and Christmas time. 

This year, Bill Anstett, SITCFD co-chair with his wife, Colleen McGhee, anticipates a rise in requests from the pantries they serve in light of the coronavirus pandemic, which has shut down businesses across the state, the country and the world and put millions of workers in the U.S. and elsewhere on the unemployment line.

Although the holiday baskets are the program’s main focus, so far this year SITCFD has also provided special help to several pantries that were overwhelmed with requests in the early months of the pandemic. It has also donated energy bars and drinks to workers at Sharon Hospital, just over the border in Sharon, Conn., who were putting in long hours and were hard pressed to find time for meal breaks at the height of the pandemic.

In normal times, the program would raise funds from various events throughout the year, but with COVID-19 restrictions, those have been canceled and fundraising has been hard to come by. Instead, the program will be dependent on donations and hopes to raise some money through a much anticipated community raffle, which local businesses and community members have contributed to.

A beautiful handmade blue star quilt created by Anstett’s sister-in-law, Krista McGhee, that’s valued between $300 and $400, is up for raffle, as is a $200 Thanksgiving turkey with the traditional sides from McEnroe Organic Farm in Millerton. The tickets, costing $10 each or six for $50, are available directly from Anstett; they are also available at Millerton’s 52 Main and at Herrington’s hardware store, in Millerton and in neighboring Lakeville, Conn., at Copake’s Under Mountain Golf Course and at the Black Rabbit Bar and Grill, also in Lakeville. Those businesses each contributed gift cards as did Millerton businesses Taylor Oil, Daisey Hill Farm, North East Muffler and Silamar Farm.

The drawing is set for Sunday,  Nov. 1. 

“We’d like to do another raffle starting full time in December or early next year. Since we’re limited in events, we’re thinking these raffles are going to take their place for now,” Anstett said.  

Donations may be mailed to Sunday in the Country Food Drive at P.O. Box 789, Millerton, NY 12546 or made at www.sundayinthecountry.org.

For further information, write to anstettstone@optonline.net or call 518-267-9865.

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