A marathon of donations

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Naugatuck Ecumenical Food Bank volunteer Barry Stiber and Naugatuck Deputy Mayor Tamath Rossi unload food collected by St. Francis-St. Hedwig Catholic School students for the food bank Tuesday afternoon. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

NAUGATUCK — Naugatuck Deputy Mayor Tamath Rossi achieved her goal of running a marathon on Saturday and blew away her goal of raising $1,000 for the Naugatuck Ecumenical Food Bank in the process.

On Tuesday afternoon, Rossi visited the food bank on Spring Street and presented Marty-Lee Fenton, president of the food bank, with a check for $4,795.

“I’ve always said we have a very generous community but I did not expect this,” Rossi said.

Rossi ran in the 26.2 mile ING Hartford Marathon Saturday, a personal goal she set for herself after running a 5K last year. Rossi decided to run for the food bank and solicited donations as she trained.

Along with the money donated, students from St. Francis-St. Hedwig Catholic School in Naugatuck held a food drive as part of the effort. Rossi delivered a car full of food collected by the students Tuesday afternoon as well.

Naugatuck Pediatrics also donated 14 bags and two boxes of food to the food bank in the Rossi’s name, Fenton said.

Rossi added the students at Hillside Intermediate School raised $400 during a dress down day for the food bank and the school’s PTA added $100 to that total.

The donations came at an opportune time with the holiday season drawing closer. Just a few weeks ago the shelves in the food bank stood bare, Fenton said, and the food bank is serving more families in need of help.

A couple more food drives are coming up. Student Transportation of America is holding a food drive outside of Walmart on New Haven Road on Nov. 3. Naugatuck Boy Scouts will be delivering bags to homes in Naugatuck seeking donations early in November to be collected Nov. 10.