Officers, emergency responders to hold food drives and dinners - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Officers, emergency responders to hold food drives and dinners

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Emergency responders across the state have been holding food drives and preparing to serve Thanksgiving dinners.

Their goal is to protect and serve; however, this month they're taking that angle to a whole new level.

"Our goal was just to achieve happiness and just be able to provide," said Trooper Joy Owens, state police. "Yet the town and the community are overachievers."

Throughout November, emergency and law enforcement personnel have been taking the reins on food drives in towns like Colchester.

Officers in Hartford told Eyewitness News on Friday that it’s something they’ve been doing for years and give them a chance to meet with the community on a more informal basis.

"We want to constantly engage with the residents who live here, show our participation, not just in the criminal side but in our actual service to the city," said Sgt. Steven Austin, Hartford police.

They said it not only gives people the opportunity to really come up and speak with them, it also give police an opportunity to give back.

Hartford officers said they’ve been collecting food to feed more than 200 families who need help putting a holiday meal on the table.

They said they’re also preparing to serve more than 400 people at their annual turkey dinner on Sunday at police headquarters, the substation and Trinity College.

The service doesn’t end at the capital city’s borders.

Departments from across the state said they’ve also been holding drives this month.

South Windsor police said they’re planning one for this weekend.

"Even in a town that everyone regards as well off, there's still a lot of people struggling, and a lot of people in need,” said Deputy Chief Scott Custer, South Windsor police.

South Windsor’s Emergency of Hunger food drive brings together first responders from a number of departments to help those in need, according to Custer.

Over the years, he said they’ve collected 5,500 turkeys as well as gift cards and 200,000 personal care items.

"It's a question and answer time for the officers," Custer said. "They get to talk to people, they're a little less intimidated, willing to come up and ask the questions they want, maybe a question about a local issue, a crime issue. [It's] an opportunity to get out and meet with the community in a positive way."

South Windsor’s drive is happening from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the Stop & Shop on Ellington Road and the Geissler's Supermarket on Sullivan Avenue.

More information can be found on the police department’s Facebook page here.

State police's annual Thanksgiving Food Drive is set for Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. It's happening at the Stop & Shops in Dayville and Putnum, the Price Chopper in Putnam, the Aldi in Dayville and the Better Val-U in Canterbury and Plainfield.

They're accepting nonperishable food items, turkeys and gift cards.

Additional food drives include Hartford police's Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Red Rock Tavern.

There's also the Middletown Turkey Drive on Friday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. at the Stop & Shop on East Main Street.

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