FARMINGTON — “Helping hands, helping hands,” one little girl from W.G. Mallett School recited Friday as she and her classmates toted bags of food across the street to the Community Center.

Students at Mallett and Cascade Brook schools in Farmington collected 4,480 pounds of food for the Care and Share Food Closet in Farmington on Friday in the the 22nd annual Helping Hands food project, Pauline Rodrigue, volunteer coordinator for RSU 9, said.

Food was collected at the two schools this month, she said. Boxes of pasta, soups and other dry and canned goods or personal items were among the donations.

After students left their bags on tables, the items were quickly sorted and boxed by a team of about 30 volunteers, mostly retired teachers and their friends.

Students from the Differentiated Curriculum Program at Foster Tech helped load a truck for delivery to the food closet and helped unload it.

Mallett School children walked single file by class across the street from the school to the Community Center. A group of Cascade Brook students walked down Middle Street, each carrying items in plastic grocery bags.

“It’s the time of year when people think about it,” Rodrigue said.

In October, the food pantry served 281 families totaling 784 people, she said.

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