Thanks to the generosity of listeners and shoppers in the Ellsworth and Bar Harbor area, WDEA was able to collect 1780 pounds of pasta, sauce and other canned goods at the 13th Annual Ton of Pasta food drive at the Ellsworth Hannaford on Saturday, February 27th.

When we started this back in 2003, we thought wouldn't it be fantastic if with our 4 stations combined, if we could collect 2000 pounds of pasta COMBINED! But, thanks to our listeners and a generous community, we usually collect somewhere between 3 and 4 ton! That's a heck of a lot of pasta!

We normally get asked why pasta, and are reminded that it isn't necessarily the healthiest food. I tell people that we will take whatever food or cash they wish to donate, and we had some people give us rice and peanut butter today, and we are thankful. But here's the reason why we ask for pasta, a pound of pasta will feed a family of four. Yes, there are healthier options, but if you're hungry, which unfortunately there are far too many hungry people, a box of pasta will satiate the hunger pains. Plus, when we started this 13 years ago, you could buy 4 or 5 boxes of pasta for a dollar, so it was pretty easy for people to donate.

When I stand out in the cold for four hours, it gives me the chance to talk to listeners and our community. While I am grateful for every and any donation, there are two specific kind of donations that make me so happy. The first is when children donate. When moms and dads have their children come over and give us their boxes of pasta, it gives me hope. Hope that these children will learn that taking care of our community is essential, and helping those in need is what's right and good!

The other donations that warm my heart on cold days is when someone comes up and hands me a box of pasta and says you know, ___ years ago, I needed pasta and got it from ______ food bank. Now, my situation is a little better and it's my turn to return the favor!

So thank you to everyone who came out today! Yes it was cold, but your generosity warmed my heart and I'm so happy to be in a position and work for a company that lets us take care of our community.