WILTON — With high energy and enthusiasm about 200 students from Academy Hill School lined Main Street Friday morning passing bags of food items.

A long line of students and teachers stretched from the Cushing School driveway to the Wilton Area Food Pantry located at the Wilton United Methodist Church.

As an annual community service project, the third- through sixth-grade students collected a variety of food items, said teacher organizer Kim Alexander.

“The collection isn’t quite as big this year,” she said while remarking on the difficulties of the current economic situation, but students counted bag after bag, quickly passing over 80-plus bags in just the first few minutes.

Students at the Gerald D. Cushing School on Friday afternoon will bring (not pass) their collection of food to the food bank that services Wilton, Weld, Dryden, East Wilton, East Dixfield and North Jay, said Kitty MacDonald, director.

“More new families are coming in,” MacDonald said about the food bank service

People are also currently signing up for holiday baskets. They can sign up until Nov. 18, then pick the baskets up on Sunday, Nov. 22, she said. Normally the food bank provides about 145 Thanksgiving baskets. The numbers are already at about 115, and she expects more before the deadline.

Some items from Friday’s school pass may help with the baskets. The youth group at Wilton Congregational Church help pack the baskets, and this year Terry and Iris Trask have donated bags of apples to go in each basket, she said. The Lions Club is always a big help, too.

Along with the local help and donations, a partnership with the Good Shepherd Food Bank really helps, she said.

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