Veterans fundraiser and food drive begins

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Grapenuts Wine has begun its annual fundraiser and food drive for veterans.

The money raised in the project goes to support Veterans Residential Services of Wilson.

“Over the last several years we have been doing a fundraiser for veterans for Veterans Day or on about that day,” said Grapenuts manager Shelley Serani.

The fundraiser helped a statewide veterans organization in the early years but Serani wanted to help the large number of veterans in Wilson County.

“We had learned that there were quite a few veterans that were either homeless or pretty bad off here in town that needed help,” Serani said.

Veterans Residential Services of Wilson is a nonprofit organization that is not affiliated with the United Way or any local shelters.

Last year, the project raised $4,216 in cash donations, $1,525 in in-kind donations and collected 1,321 food items.

This year, Grapenuts is collaborating with the YMCA of Wilson and with Barton College.

Serani said nonperishable items are being collected at the store, located at 3711-B Peppermill Drive, off Nash Street.

“Last year I decided to take it up a notch and we decided to do a food drive in addition to our Friday night tasting fundraiser,” Serani said. “For the month of October and leading up to Nov. 10 of this year, we are also doing the food drive.”

Anyone who brings five or more cans of nonperishable items to the store will receive 10 percent off purchases in the store that evening.

“We are hoping to get the word out and awareness out into the community about how much we need to support our veterans for everything they have done for us,” Serani said. “We are hoping that it gets a little bigger this year and each year that we do it.”

The two-day grand finale for the event will be a Vino for Our Vets event from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9 at Grapenuts, followed the next day by a final food drive push from 2-9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 at 217 Brew Works.

Serani said Veterans Residential Services can always use donations of food, toys, sweatpants and shirts, socks, gloves, blankets and toiletries.

For more information, call Serani at 252-246-9463.