CARVER (CBS) – It Happens Here, in Carver. This small town is big on cranberries, making up 9 percent of all acres in the U.S. Visitors can tour a former cranberry plantation on the Edaville Railroad, or travel back in time to King Richard’s Faire, the largest Renaissance party in New England – with the biggest turkey legs.
Down the street more fresh food awaits at the Shane Gives Thanks food pantry. At just seven years old, Shane McColgan wanted to do something meaningful to help people going hungry in his own community.
” I just walked up to my mom that day saying, ‘will I be able to change this?’ And she said ‘absolutely.’ And then a couple months later we started doing the Thanksgiving boxes for the people,” Shane said.
Those Thanksgiving boxes eventually turned into a whole pantry. Six years after launching, it now services close to 1,800 families from Carver and surrounding towns.
“It’s nice to see the community has embraced him and allowed him to kind of live out his dream,” Shane’s aunt, Monica Cole, said.
She volunteers at the pantry along with Shane’s grandparents, his uncle Wayne, and little sister Payton, who started Payton Packs – nutritious bags of food distributed to local schools.
“No one should go hungry,” Payton explained.
The pantry runs strictly on donations with residents, grocery stores, and local farmers all contributing.
“This is a huge community effort,” Cole said. “Without the support that we’ve had, from not only Carver but the surrounding towns, I don’t think that this would have gone as well as it has.”
A need greater than ever during the pandemic.
“I’ve seen people, when I was taking the food out, crying that they were so happy that they’re going to be able to have something to eat,” Shane’s uncle Wayne Cols said. “It’s been a tough time.”
“I like feel like I’m actually doing something great in my life. I’m like overjoyed to help,” Shane said.
September is National Hunger Awareness Month. The Shane Gives Thanks food pantry launched new fundraiser, looking for $20 donations. If you would like to donate, visit shanegivesthanks.com.