Derby-Shelton Rotary kicks off annual Thanksgiving food drive

The Derby-Shelton Rotary Club is hosting its annual Thanksgiving food drive through Nov. 14.

The Derby-Shelton Rotary Club is hosting its annual Thanksgiving food drive through Nov. 14.

Contributed photo

SHELTON — The Derby-Shelton Rotary Club is once again joining forces with Rotary clubs throughout the state and Liberty Bank to put a Thanksgiving feast on the table of those in need this coming holiday. 

Liberty Bank offers a 25 percent match to monetary contributions in the annual drive. The partnership has raised more than $2 million since it began in 2004. This year’s drive kicked off this month, and the deadline for donations is Nov. 14. 

“We have all felt the pain of rising prices this year,” said Judy Gulish, Derby-Shelton Rotary Liberty Bank Drive chairperson. “Now is the time for us to step forward to help our neighbors in need so that they can enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings." 

For every dollar collected by Rotary, the Liberty Bank Foundation will add $.25, up to a total of $250,000. The goal for 2022 (contributions plus the match) is $1.25 million. As in prior years, the Derby-Shelton Rotary Club will split the money collected between Spooner House and St. Vincent de Paul of the Valley, Inc.

Last year Derby-Shelton Rotary raised some $19,000 with the match. 

“The need for food this year is bigger than ever,” said Derby-Shelton Rotary Club President Betsey Doane. “The drive is for Thanksgiving and beyond and with the generous match from Liberty Bank, we all have a wonderful opportunity to support this critical need.”  

Doane said Liberty Bank partners with Rotary clubs annually for this food drive which is "intended to raise money for Thanksgiving and beyond. Each Rotary club determines the organizations to support. Each organization receives an equal share of the supporting club’s donations."

Liberty Bank is working in conjunction with the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, which will be processing the transactions. 

Donations are no longer accepted at Liberty Bank branches. Donations are accepted online at or by mailing a check written to the Community Foundation with the name of the benefiting Rotary Club in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to Community Foundation of Middlesex County, 49 Main St., Middletown, CT 06457. 

The Derby-Shelton Rotary joined the effort in 2016, raising $12,758. Since then, the program has grown. Donations are deposited to special Liberty Bank accounts owned by the participating Rotary clubs. On the Monday before Thanksgiving, the Liberty Bank Foundation adds $.25 for each dollar raised. Each Rotary club then withdraws the funds and uses them to provide Thanksgiving food in its local community. 

Clubs may purchase and deliver food themselves or donate the proceeds of the drive to a local nonprofit organization that provides Thanksgiving food to needy residents. In 2020, the drive raised more than $1 million. 

For more information on donations, visit