It’s that time of year again when a local dentist is encouraging Valley residents to make their annual pilgrimage to his frozen turkey and canned-food drive to ensure area folks in need enjoy a hearty Thanksgiving feast.
Dr. Bruce Sofferman, of Smile Dental Center, his wife Deborah, daughter Sophia and a turkey mascot, will host their 31st annual food drive on Wednesday and Thursday to benefit The Spooner House and its Valley Food Bank.
Sofferman and his crew will again be sporting Pilgrim and traditional Native American costumes, waving on passing motorists to stop by to make a donation.
The first drive on Wednesday will take place at 7:30 a.m. at the Shelton Intermediate School, 675 Constitution Blvd. North, and continue through Nov. 22.
The second drive on Thursday is scheduled for 7 to 10 a.m. outside of Smile Dental Center, 1000 Bridgeport Ave., Shelton.
This year’s goal for the upcoming holiday season is to prepare 650 meal baskets, piled high with turkeys and all the trimmings, according to Spooner House Executive Director Susan Compton Agamy. Last year, thanks to Sofferman’s food drive, Spooner House was able to serve 4,400 holiday meals.
Sofferman said with state budget cuts, more people than ever in the lower Naugatuck Valley and beyond are in need of support.
“The need doesn’t go away; if anything, it seems to get worse every year,” Sofferman said.
Sofferman said he’s been getting plenty of inquiries from people about when he and his family are going to be out in force, donning the traditional Pilgrim garb.
Playing the role of the turkey mascot this year will be Brendan Carey, of the Shelton Grow Group, who is more than happy to pitch in.
“Dr. Sofferman’s Annual Food Drive is such a great event — 31 years and counting!” said Carey. “When he asked me if we would be interested in being involved with this, we all jumped at the chance. I asked him what I could do personally to help out …”dress as the Turkey,” he said. So, I’m dressing up as a turkey and believe me, I can’t wait. It’ll be fun and personally rewarding at the same time.”
Shelton Superintendent of Schools Christopher Couet said he’s especially proud that the SIS students are working with the Soffermans and Spooner House this year.
“I am very proud of the efforts by our middle-school students to begin this food drive, it clearly indicates we are training young students to find ways to give back at an early age,” said Couet,
Compton Agamy said Spooner House, as always, is grateful for the Soffermans’ efforts.
“We are delighted to have the 31 years of support from Smile Dental Center owner, Dr. Bruce Sofferman, his wife, Deborah, and daughter, Sophia, to help with the annual food drive,” she said.
Sofferman said the family enjoys helping out.
“This has been a holiday tradition for me and my family for 31 years,” he said. “It’s a way for us to give back to a community we love and once again hope to be a major contributor to the Spooner House goal to provide Thanksgiving meals for all in need.”
In addition to frozen turkeys, items needed for the collection include instant potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, canned vegetables, pie crust mix, pie filling, evaporated and powdered milk, pickles, olives, canned fruit, coffee, tea, powdered juice mix, napkins, sugar, brownie mix, corn bread and biscuit mix.