Cranston schools 'Go Orange' to fight hunger

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As the weather begins to chill and the holidays approach, the Comprehensive Community Action Program (CCAP) is preparing to fill 1,000 food baskets for the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, according to Lee Beliveau, the organization’s vice president for development and corporate affairs.

With that goal in mind, the organization looks to local food drives to help them fill those baskets with non-perishable food items and gift cards to grocery stores for turkeys for local families to enjoy throughout the holiday season.

This year, the fourth annual “Go Orange” days to benefit the No Kid Hungry initiative had the biggest participation level ever, and will help CCAP to reach the 2016 goal.

Started in 2013 by Caroline, Elizabeth, and Alexandra Cowart as a way to help the hungry families in their own community, the food drive has grown each year it has been in existence. This year, almost two-dozen schools and offices, including the school district’s food service provider Aramark and the Briggs building staff participated, dressing in orange and donating to the drive.

The “Go Orange” days started on Oct. 21 at the individual schools and continued on through Oct. 31 and beyond, working around various school events and picture days and often combining the event with their own school drives running beyond the month of October.

Some schools collected spare change, some collected non-perishable food items, and some did a combination of both, all sporting their colorful orange clothing on the designated days in order to raise awareness of the issue of childhood hunger locally and nationwide.

To date, more than $1,200 has been brought in by this year’s drive, along with hundreds of pounds of food, with the tally increasing each day as the schools each conclude their drives. For more information about CCAP’s holiday food drive collections and the No Kid Hungry drive, tune in to WPRI’s “The Rhode Show” this Thursday morning, Nov. 3. 1

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