By Mike LaBella firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — HAVERHILL — Sunday’s Santa Parade will not only entertain, but will help local people who rely on food pantries and community meal programs.
The 14th annual Betsy Conte Food Drive, which takes place during the parade in memory of the late city councilor, is an opportunity to help those in need. The drive began the year Conte lost her battle with cancer.
Parade spectators are asked to bring donations of nonperishable food items in bags or boxes. Items such as peanut butter and canned tuna fish are greatly appreciated, but organizers ask that no glass jars are donated. Paper and hygiene products are also needed.
During the parade, volunteers will pull two wagons provided by Kimball Farm and a trailer from Conte Electric to collect items. Cub Scout Pack 27 from All Saints Church will pull two little wagons to collect food and toiletries.
All of the items collected will be sorted by Boy Scout Troop 5 from West Congregational Church and divided up at the Universalist Unitarian Church for distribution to local food pantries, Sacred Hearts Church, All Saints Church, Somebody Cares New England, Calvary Baptist Church, the Salvation Army, the Pregnancy Care Center and the Open Hand Pantry.
Shopping bags donated by Haverhill Beef Co. and Loral Press Inc. may be picked up at Haverhill Beef, E-Z Way Cleaners on White Street and South Main Street in Bradford, as well as Pentucket Bank’s main office on Merrimack Street, its branch across from Trinity Stadium and its Westgate branch. Those unable to attend the parade but wish to donate may drop off items at any of these locations.