(Photo Courtesy Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch)

United Way of Wyoming Valley, located in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, continued a 26-year tradition inspired with the aim of reducing the summer slump in donations to area food banks. Since 1989, over 1.4 million pounds of food have been collected.

This year, a new addition to the drive put a priority helping quench a thirst for knowledge as well as physical hunger. Donations of cash were dedicated to providing books for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which provides free books for children under age 5.

logoEach month a new, carefully selected book will be mailed in the child’s name directly to his or her home in the Wyoming Valley until he/she turns five years old. (For details, visit: https://www.unitedwaywb.org/dolly.html )

On Friday, representatives of local businesses dropped off food donations to conclude the United Way’s Christmas in July 2016.

At the Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank in the McGowan Center for Healthy Living in Pittston, Kathy Bozinski, director of marketing and communications, and Bill Jones, CEO of United Way of Wyoming Valley, waited by the loading bays for trucks and companies to bring their goods, according to a story in the Sunday Dispatch.

Overall, Bozinski told the Sunday Dispatch, the United Way collected over 10,000 pounds of food and $27,712 in cash, equaling 11,085 books for the (Dolly Parton Imagination) library.

Benco Dental, Frontier Communications and Procter & Gamble donated the most food. Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies, Navient and Trion Industries also participated.

This year, Benco associates raised a grand total of 11,565.5 pounds, which consisted of 1,681.5 lbs. of food and $4,942.00, including matching funds from the nation’s largest dental distribution company.

Read the full story at: https://psdispatch.com/news/44260/food-weighed-for-united-way-christmas-in-july-project#

Learn more about the United Way of Wyoming Valley’s Christmas in July food drive: https://unitedwaywb.org/christmas-in-july.html

Register a child or find out how to donate to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library across the nation: https://usa.imaginationlibrary.com/