WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) - Milk is a staple in most Southern New England homes, but it canalso be a big expense for large families struggling to make endsmeet. Woonsocket's annual fundraiser, "the milk fund," isdesparately seeking donations for those in need.
A nice, big, cold glass of milk is something many of us simplytake for granted. But in these tough economic times, milk is one ofthe most expensive items on the grocery list, and sometimes getscut right of out a tight budget.
"A gallon of milk can cost 3.50, four dollars," so if you have afamily, 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 onehand, and a big white paint bucket labeled "MILK FUND" in theother, 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 beena fixture of Woonsocket's holiday season. Now, as Southern NewEngland copes with the current recession, this year's drive hasn'teven hit the halfway point of its goal of $80,000.
"It was a tough number this year. I had been chairman a fewyears back, in 2001, and we had hit it. But, you know, betterdays," said Schneck.
Volunteers are hoping for a few surprises during the final daysof the annual drive; the campaign only lasts one month. Still, theyare 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 needit most.
"It's done in half gallon increments. You'll get a voucher for ahalf gallon," said Schneck.
This year's chairman, Roger Jalette, told the Woonsocket Call hehopes to give the fund a shot in the arm with next week's Milk FundRoast at the Bocce Club. For a ticket to that event, or to donate,contact Jalette at 401-597-5790. Donations are also being taken atradio stations WOON and WNRI.
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