STRATFORD - A local food pantry recently organized a penny carnival to collect small-time donations to restock its shelves.Workers at the Sterling House Community Center on Main Street hope to use the money raised during the event to bring in much-needed supplies at a time when food prices are at record highs.

Bill O'Brien, of Sterling House, says although the pantry receives donations on a daily basis, it cannot keep pace with the high demand, especially when it comes to kid-friendly foods.

He says the demand for items like cereal, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, tuna and juice boxes goes up in the summer when children are out of school.

?Cereals, we just don't seem to have the cereals,? O?Brien says. ?At one time we were loaded with cereals to give out.?

With two refrigerators and a freezer, the pantry can take perishables as well, but it?s difficult to keep the shelves stocked, Sterling House employees say.

?I would encourage people that if they're shopping and can spare a few dollars, buy some canned goods and drop them off,? O'Brien says. ?It helps, every little bit helps.?

People can drop off donations at Sterling House any time on weekdays.

The food pantry will hold its second annual "Stuff a Bus" event on Aug. 1 and 2, during which a school bus will be parked out front in hopes of being filled with food in the course of two days.