Sussex County is putting a song in the heart and food on the table for the less fortunate this holiday season.
More than 300 carolers gathered in downtown Georgetown for the 33rd annual Caroling on The Circle event Monday night, Dec. 5, to ring in the season Christmas season, and more importantly, collect an estimated 14,000 canned goods and non-perishable items for local food banks.
Each year, Caroling on The Circle kicks off the holiday season for Sussex County, while serving as a community food drive to benefit local pantries. Started in 1984 as part of the Delaware First initiative, Caroling on The Circle continues to help those in need a generation later. To date, the community has donated more than 685,000 canned goods through the Caroling on The Circle program throughout the course of its 33-year history.
“This community shows year after year what the season of giving is all about, and that’s something for which we can all be proud,” County Administrator Todd F. Lawson said. “Because of the generosity of so many businesses, schools, organizations and the general public through the Caroling on The Circle campaign, the holidays will be a bit brighter for those in need.”
As part of the Caroling event, Sussex County once again called on the public to ‘Pack the POD’ by setting up a 14-foot-by-7-foot PODS storage trailer on The Circle. The unit served as a focal point for Caroling and to heighten awareness about the food drive.
Monday night’s Caroling event, along with collections from Sussex County Council, County employees, numerous schools, groups and businesses leading up to the event, helped this year’s preliminary total reach approximately 14,000 items. With three and a half weeks still left in the drive, the County hopes to take the final total even higher by the New Year.
The public can continue to drop off canned goods and non-perishable food items between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the County Administrative Offices building on The Circle or the West Complex offices on U.S. 113, both in Georgetown. The Caroling on The Circle food drive will continue until Dec. 30.
Mr. Lawson thanked the public and those in attendance at Monday night’s event, and acknowledged several participating groups. Those included County Council, County employees, Aloft AeroArchitects, Steve Class/Colonial East, the Delaware Manufactured Home Owners Association, First State Manufactured Housing Association, Fuqua, Yori & Willard, Little Einstein Preschool, Sussex County Association of REALTORS®, Georgetown Elementary, Georgetown Middle, H. O. Brittingham Elementary, Millsboro Middle, Milton Elementary, and Seaford High schools, and Sussex Academy.
Items collected will be donated to approximately 15 area pantries, shelters and church organizations for distribution within Sussex County.