The Hartford Courant

3:37 p.m. EST, November 15, 2013

Read the Courant version here…

MANCHESTER — Emergency responders and Rotary Club members launched a regional drive Friday to collect food and other donations for needy people.

This is the fifth year of the Emergency of Hunger Food Drive. Representatives of police, fire and ambulance agencies, Rotary Club members and pantry managers from Manchester, South Windsor and Vernon gathered Friday at Manchester Area Conference of Churches Charities to kick off the drive.

Volunteers in those towns, Enfield and Windsor collect food and monetary donations at area supermarkets. In the past five years, the drive has gathered about 108,000 food and personal care items, 4,100 turkeys and more than $75,000 in cash, checks and gift cards, organizers said.

All collections are to be held at Stop & Shop supermarkets, except one at Geissler’s Supermarket in South Windsor. Dates and times for the collections are:

Manchester — Saturday and Sunday and Nov. 23 and 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; 286 Broad St.

Enfield — Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 54 Hazard Ave.

Rockville — Nov. 23 and 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 50 Windsorville Road

Vernon — Nov. 23 and 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; 10 Pitkin Road

South Windsor — Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.at the Stop & Shop at 1739 Ellington Road and on the same days and times at Geissler’s Supermarket, 965 Sullivan Ave.

Windsor held its collection earlier this month, organizers said.

All food and donations go to food banks in the towns where they are donated, organizers said.

“In other words, everything stays local so that neighbors are helping neighbors,” organizer David Skoczulek of Ambulance Service of Manchester wrote in a news release.