Great Scot! Food donations surpassing last year’s drive

‘Celebrity’ baggers, drawings encourage customers to give

GREEN SPRINGS – Great Scot Community Markets in Green Springs is having its second annual Food Drive. Customers have the opportunity to help their neighbors by donating non-perishable food items, and they get to have their purchases bagged by local “celebrities.”

On Saturday afternoon, Green Springs Mayor-Elect Jesse Darr spent three hours bagging groceries. Firefighters and police officers also stop in when they can.

Darr said the event gave him the chance to meet many of the community members he will serve when his term begins on Jan. 3.

“I’ve met a lot of new people,” he said. “Joyce (Valle) has been introducing me every chance she gets.”

Valle, produce manager at Great Scot, was instrumental in starting the food drive last year.

“I’ve kind of always been involved in community service,” Valle said. “Last year, I was running the idea of doing something past a girl in the deli. We discussed different ideas, and the idea of the food drive was born.”

Last year, the food drive brought in about 800 items. The community’s generosity far exceeded Valle’s expectations, and she believes the involvement of local emergency personnel was a great motivator for customers to give.

“When we hit 800, it was fabulous,” Valle said. “When they’d see Charlie Horne, chief of police, bagging groceries, they’d think, ‘I can donate, too.'”

This year, customers have given more. As of Saturday afternoon, the food drive had collected more than 1,000 items.

“One lady comes in every week and buys a case of something to donate,” Valle said.

That customer, who wished to remain anonymous, said she is grateful to have the means to donate that much. She has donated several cases of macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, jelly, cereal, soup and more.

“This year, I’ve been blessed enough that every time I go through the line I have the money to buy an extra case,” she said. “People need this. I work at Job & Family Services in Oak Harbor, and I’ve seen that the clientele has changed. Now it’s your neighbors and friends that can’t afford to feed their family anymore.”

Valle has seen the same trend. “The sad thing is, people have a misconception about the people that use the food pantries,” she said. “But all it takes is a couple of weeks of getting behind. No one should ever have to choose between food and heat.”

Some of the doanted food was given to Adams Township Freewill Baptist Church. The church created 14 baskets for local needy families. The rest of the food will go to the Clyde Food Pantry, which serves families in the Clyde-Green Springs school district.

The second annual Food Drive will continue until Christmas Even. As an added incentive to give, customers can have their names entered into a drawing every time they donate three items. Prizes include free oil changes, hair services, produce and more.

Great Scot Community Markets is at 104 N. Broadway Street in Green Springs. Its phone number is 419-639-2981.

Headquartered in Findlay, Ohio, family owned Fresh Encounter, Inc. is Ohio’s largest independent grocery retailer; now operating 32 outlets throughout Ohio and Indiana. Fresh Encounter operates supermarkets under the brands of Community Markets, Great Scot Community Markets, Fulmer Community Markets, Save-a-Lot and Sack-N-Save Supermarkets.

For information on family owned Community Markets, visit the website at

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