Sussex County kicks off annual food drive for Caroling on The Circle on Dec. 7

GEORGETOWN – ‘Tis the season for carols and canned goods, and Sussex County is counting on both to be in abundance for needy families this holiday season.

Sussex County government this week kicks off its yearly food drive for the community’s less fortunate and will celebrate that effort during the 32nd annual Caroling on The Circle event, set for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7, in downtown Georgetown. The food drive will extend throughout November and December.

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Sussex County Councilmen Sam Wilson, left, and Michael Vincent sing a carol at last year’s Caroling on The Circle event, held in the Georgetown Fire Hall due to inclement weather.

Each year, the community singing event doubles as a food drive for hungry families in Sussex County, drawing hundreds of residents – along with the support of area schools, businesses and civic organizations – who turn out to sing Christmas carols and collect canned goods for area pantries, churches and food banks.

In 2014, the food drive collected more than 31,200 items for nearly a dozen organizations. Sussex County organizers are hopeful to collect just as many items this year, and are encouraging the public to do their part now to “Pack the POD” – a 14-foot by 7-foot portable storage shed that will be set up at The Circle – with food items for local food pantries.

County Administrator Todd F. Lawson said Caroling on The Circle is a great way to get into the holiday spirit, but it’s important to remember the event’s true purpose.

“Caroling on The Circle is a wonderful evening of celebration, but we cannot lose sight of the fact that for some families and citizens in our community every day is a struggle, especially during the holidays and winter months,” Mr. Lawson said, noting that the Caroling on The Circle event over the years has raised nearly 680,000 items for local food pantries. “Sussex Countians have shown year after year how generous they are, and I am confident this year will be no different.”

As always, the historic Sussex County Courthouse and picturesque Circle will serve as the backdrop for an evening of traditional and Spanish carols, as well as a visit from Santa Claus. WBOC-TV personality Jimmy Hoppa will host the event, which will feature local singing artists Kevin Short and Ed Shockley.

Also joining in the performances will be the Georgetown Middle School and Sussex Central High School choirs and the El Centro Cultural group.

Following the festivities, free cookies and hot chocolate will be available for all to enjoy at the Georgetown Fire Company, one block south of The Circle. The event is free to attend. Participants only have to bring non-perishable food items for donation.

Food items will be collected that night, but donations can be dropped off from now until the end of December, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the County Administrative Offices building, next to the courthouse, in Georgetown. Donations also can be made at the County Administrative Offices West Complex, U.S. 113, in Georgetown, and at the Delaware Coastal Airport terminal building on Rudder Lane, just east of Georgetown.

Caroling on The Circle will be held regardless of weather. In the event of rain or snow, it will be moved inside the fire hall on South Bedford Street.

For more information, call 855-7700.

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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