PERU — Barbara Lane of Peru set a collection goal for her food drive. And if she missed that goal, she would spend 24 hours in the cold.

Lane hoped to raise $4,321, collect 4,321 food items or a combination thereof.

The money and food would be divided among two area food pantries: Servants Heart Food Pantry at the old Peru Elementary School, which is operated by the Peru Baptist Church, and the Dixfield Food Pantry on Common Road in Dixfield, operated by Dixfield Common Baptist Church.

The 11th annual drive began at 7 a.m. Saturday at the Peru Fire Station. As of 11:30 a.m., Lane felt confident she was already near her goal.

Lane would surpass her goal, collecting $5,961 in money and food. The exact tallies: $3,693 in cash and 2,268 food items.

And she was home by 7 p.m.

“The fire station wrote (on the electronic reader board): ‘Mission accomplished, Barb! Sleep well!’” Lane said.

The donations were brought to the food pantries Sunday. The food filled more than 80 reusable grocery bags. While cash and food donations were most common, one community member donated pet beds and another toothbrushes.

Lane had many volunteers to help sort and count donations in the warmth of the station. But she had no desire to be inside until the collection was complete.

Lane’s mother, Elizabeth Lane, also of Peru, was among the volunteers. She has assisted at every food drive and this year donated an 18-inch doll with two outfits she made to be raffled as part of the drive.

“Lots of people showed up,” Barbara Lane said. “My heart is full.”

Lane, owner of Hot Colors Screen Printing and Design in Norway, donated 220 shirts she had designed for the drive. The shirts went to community members who made donations.

“I’ve learned it doesn’t take a whole lot to make someone happy,” she said. “I donated just a little of my time to do this.”

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Food drive volunteers sort and organize donations Saturday at the Peru Fire Station. The drive was coordinated by Peru resident Barbara Lane. Volunteers are, from left: Elizabeth Lane, Norine Clarke, Meghan Valente and Muffie Ellis. (Abigail Austin/Sun Journal)

Dave Saphier as Santa Claus collects a donation from Jim and Becky Cote at the food drive coordinated by Barbara Lane, right, of Peru. (Abigail Austin/Sun Journal)

Food drive coordinator Barbara Lane of Peru with Dave Saphier, who dressed in a familiar outfit, on Saturday at the Peru Fire Station. (Abigail Austin/Sun Journal)

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