Updated: Sunday, 28 Dec 2008, 1:03 AM EST
Published : Sunday, 28 Dec 2008, 1:03 AM EST
WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) - Milk is a staple in most Southern New England homes, but it can also be a big expense for large families struggling to make ends meet. Woonsocket's annual fundraiser, "the milk fund," is desparately seeking donations for those in need.
A nice, big, cold glass of milk is something many of us simply take for granted. But in these tough economic times, milk is one of the most expensive items on the grocery list, and sometimes gets cut right of out a tight budget.
"A gallon of milk can cost 3.50, four dollars," so if you have a family, it can be difficult to afford enough nutrients for all, said Bill Schneck, a Milk Fund volunteer.
Schneck wore a yellow rain slicker, carried an umbrella in one hand, and a big white paint bucket labeled "MILK FUND" in the other, to dodge cars and raindrops most of Saturday for the cause. "It started with children, obviously, back in the Depression era," said Schneck. Since then, the Milk Fund fundraising drive has been a fixture of Woonsocket's holiday season. Now, as Southern New England copes with the current recession, this year's drive hasn't even hit the halfway point of its goal of $80,000.
"It was a tough number this year. I had been chairman a few years back, in 2001, and we had hit it. But, you know, better days," said Schneck.
Volunteers are hoping for a few surprises during the final days of the annual drive; the campaign only lasts one month. Still, they are trying to be realistic and are hoping to hit $50,000 this year, so they can provide milk throughout the new year to those who need it most.
"It's done in half gallon increments. You'll get a voucher for a half gallon," said Schneck.
This year's chairman, Roger Jalette, told the Woonsocket Call he hopes to give the fund a shot in the arm with next week's Milk Fund Roast at the Bocce Club. For a ticket to that event, or to donate, contact Jalette at 401-597-5790. Donations are also being taken at radio stations WOON and WNRI.