Sussex Countians are putting a song in the heart and food on the table for those less fortunate this holiday season.
Approximately 300 carolers gathered in the Georgetown Fire Company hall for the 36th annual Caroling on The Circle event Monday night, Dec. 9, to sing in the Christmas season.
While inclement weather forced the event indoors for the first time in several years, spirits were no less dampened as the community came together to collect more than 26,200 canned goods and other non-perishable items for local pantries that will feed needy families in the weeks and months ahead.
Each year, Caroling on The Circle kicks off the holiday season for Sussex County, while serving as a community food drive to benefit local food banks.
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 751,000 food items through the Caroling on The Circle program throughout the course of its 36-year history.
“Once again, Sussex Countians have shown just how much generosity they have in their hearts,” County Administrator Todd F. Lawson said. “I continued to be amazed by and proud of this community for all that they do to make Caroling on The Circle a success year after year.”
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 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 to reach 26,227 items.
With several 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-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. 31.
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, Steve Class/Colonial East, First State Manufactured Housing Association, Flex World Fitness, Fuqua, Willard, Stevens & Schab law firm, Little Einsteins daycare, Sussex County Association of REALTORS®, as well as Cape Henlopen High, Delmarva Christian, G. W. Carver Academy, Georgetown Elementary, Georgetown Middle, Millsboro Middle, Milton Elementary, Sussex Academy, and Sussex Central High schools.
Items collected will be donated to approximately 20 area pantries, shelters and church organizations for distribution within Sussex County.