Three retailers on North Queen Street in Lancaster are collaborating next week on a food drive and fundraiser for local nonprofits.
The Giving Trail will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July 29. It is an initiative of Lancaster Gift Box, The Common Wheel and Decades and is billed as a “Christmas in July”-themed event.
The food drive will benefit Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County. Participants will also have the opportunity to meet, learn about and donate to nine other organizations.
“We hope to ignite awareness and help raise a lot of food and funds for local food pantries and nonprofits,” Lancaster Gift Box co-founder and Giving Trail organizer Gabriel Luber said.
How it works
Participants will start at the Lancaster Gift Box, where they will receive a Giving Trail Passport and have it stamped in exchange for a non-perishable food donation.
They will then proceed to The Common Wheel and Decades, receiving passport stamps in exchange for two more non-perishable food donations, one at each site.
At Decades, they can drop their stamped passports into a raffle box, making them eligible to win a Gift Tower valued at $500, filled with treats, gift cards and swag from participating businesses.
Decades is hosting a “Christmas in July” celebration over the weekend. It is offering a special sangria cocktail with proceeds benefiting Lancaster Food Hub. On Saturday, Santa Claus will be at Decades from noon to 4 p.m.
Participants will also be invited to make monetary donations to CAP and other participating nonprofits, either in person or online on the Giving Trail website.
They will be able to meet representatives from nine organizations at a giving station set up at Lancaster Gift Box. The Common Wheel is hosting the 10th, the Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition, with which it partners on its “Gears & Queers” affinity program. Coalition representatives will be on hand from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday.
Lancaster Gift Box: Giving Station Schedule
Advocates say demand on food banks is higher than ever, driven by inflation and the expiration of pandemic aid programs.
CAP spokeswoman Kristy Aurand said the food drive will help it maintain supplies to its 40 partner food pantries.
“We are honored to be the recipient of food collected through Lancaster Gift Box’s Inaugural Giving Trail, which will support our mission to ensure access to nutritious food for everyone in our community,” she said.
The Common Wheel is a nonprofit bicycle shop that operates on a social-benefit model. It is the recipient of a United Way of Lancaster County 2023-24 Level Up & Launch grant, which will support its programs and a planned expansion into Columbia.