Sunday in the Country Food Drive in 30th year

Many more families will find food on their tables at both Thanksgiving and Christmas thanks to the hard working members of the Sunday in the Country Food Drive and all the community members who support their efforts.

Now in its 30th year, the organization is working to top off the coffers with its annual raffle with prizes provided by numerous local merchants. Tickets are $5 each, six for $25, with the drawing on Nov. 19.

As is the tradition, the group has pre-ordered all the items necessary to fill baskets, which will then be distributed to pantries throughout the area.

Bill Anstett of the Food Drive said, “We’re going to try to do the turkeys at Thanksgiving and Christmas with possibly hams at Christmas. We’re not sure about the turkey shortages yet. I’ve got a standing order, which I always have. We just don’t have a confirmation yet.”

He explained, “There’s slim pickings out there, but I think we’re going to be OK. One way or the other, we’re going to do something. We have options.”

The logistics of the program will be spread out over a three day period as the dozen volunteers who Anstett says prefer to “keep a low profile” rather than be given public recognition, will be joining in the packing and delivery of the baskets, which will also include all the “fixings” needed to make the holiday meal complete.

While he does not yet have final numbers on needs from the pantries, he said last year they prepared well over 1,000 baskets with some 600 turkeys at Thanksgiving and 400 at Christmas, which were supplemented by 300 hams and 120 chickens.

New York pantries serve Hillsdale, Millerton, Wassaic, Amenia, Pawling, Dover, Ancramdale and Pine Plains. Connecticut pantries are in Canaan, Lakeville, Cornwall and Kent.

Raffle prizes include two ski jump weekend passes from SWSA, a McEnroe Turkey with sides,  and a handmade star Throw quilt from Krista McGhee. Gift cards up for grabs are for amounts ranging from $50 to $200 from many area businesses.

According to Facebook postings, the current raffle will supplement other fundraising events such as the upcoming Oct. 21 and 22 Drive Thru Spooktacular at the Maplebrook School, 5142 Route 22, Amenia. There, for $10 per car, visitors who are encouraged to wear costumes will enjoy theme zones and treats from 6 to 8:30 p.m.   

To purchase tickets or make a donation, call Anstett at 845-206-5938 or go to

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