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Lewis chamber offering Kindle Fire as food/supply drive incentive

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LOWVILLE — The Lewis County Chamber of Commerce is looking to kindle extra support for the annual Lewis County food and school supply drive.

Anyone bringing items or money for the annual drive, organized by United Way of Northern New York, to the chamber office at 7576 S. State St. through Aug. 17, or to the chamber’s booth at next week’s Lewis County Fair, will be entered into a drawing for a Kindle Fire. The tablet, which competes with Apple’s iPad and Barnes & Nobles’s Nook, is being donated by the Adirondack Tug Hill ATV Association.

“We know that, with the economy the way it is, there is more need for food and school supplies,” said chamber Executive Director Anne L. Merrill.

Mrs. Merrill said she has been told that the demand for food items at local food pantries is up by 13 percent over last year.

With that in mind, chamber officials decided to do something to help entice county residents to support the United Way drive, she said.

They found a willing partner in the regional ATV group.

“They are truly community-oriented,” Mrs. Merrill said. “They look for ways to give back to the community.”

For every food or school supply item or dollar donated to the cause, a ticket in the donor’s name will be entered into the Kindle raffle.

“Hopefully, it will be a big success,” Mrs. Merrill said.

Anyone with questions may call the chamber at 376-2213.

Drop boxes for the annual drive also have been placed at several other locations: the Lewis County Courthouse, Tops Market, Walmart, Journal & Republican, Stewart’s Shop and Community Bank in Lowville; Lewis County Opportunities Inc. in New Bremen and Key Bank in Croghan. Items also will be accepted from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Lewis County Fairgrounds, 5449 Bostwick St., marking the culmination of the drive. However, only donors at the chamber boxes will be entered into the Kindle drawing.

All food donations will be distributed to food pantries throughout the county, while school supplies will be distributed to area schools by Lewis County Opportunities. Monetary donations will be used to purchase any items deemed necessary, unless donors request their funds be used for specific items, Mrs. Merrill said.

The top 10 list of food items requested: canned fruit, canned vegetables, soup, cereal, tuna, pork and beans, spaghetti sauce, pasta products, peanut butter and jelly and boxed side dishes, such as macaroni and cheese.

The school item wish list includes paper, thumb drives, pencil boxes, lunch boxes, folders and three-ring binders.

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