Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

August 22, 2009

Residents get jump on food drive


GLASGOW — “To the Brim” food drive is slated to start next week, but people in Glasgow and Cave City have already started collecting non-perishable food items for the drive.

“We have had several calls on it and some of the churches and different civic groups have already brought food by,” said Sue Haynes, director of the Community Relief Fund for Glasgow-Barren County.

But what has been donated up to this point is not enough. More donations are needed. The food drive, which is the first community-wide food drive held locally, is scheduled to take place Aug. 24-29. It’s purpose is to fill local food pantries “to the brim;” hence the name. Haynes hopes that by the end of next week the Community Relief Fund/Salvation Army food pantry in Glasgow and Pathfinders’ food pantry in Cave City, as well as all other food pantries at area schools and service agencies will be full.

“Dr. (Bharat) Mody is the one who has really pushed it. He’s a generous, humble guy. He’s gone out and just really pushed this. This was totally his idea,” she said.

Mody, a Glasgow physician, has spoken to serveral civic groups and at local events in recent months alerting everyone about the upcoming food drive.

“The word is spreading around and I’m hoping everyone joins in next week,” he said.

Last week, signs were posted throughout Glasgow and Cave City as reminders. Beginning this week volunteers will be at Walmart, Food Lion and Houchens seeking donations of nonperishable food items.

“The main reason we are doing this, our main food pantry, which is at Community Relief and Salvation Army, (is) almost empty, even though United Way did a food drive in the spring, we are still running very low. That’s why we decided to do this,” Mody said.

Among those who have already started collecting food items for the drive are employees of T.J. Samson Community Hospital.

“Everyday we hear of more and more factory closings and cut backs, Glasgow and surrounding areas have been hit hard,” said Tootie Bishop, radiology director at the hospital. “Dr. Mody is very supportive of other projects that we had worked on in the community and when he approached us with the plan for ‘fill to the brim’ we wanted to help. Knowing that there is a great need to help local families, this is a project that will stay in our community. T.J. Samson employees have always been leaders in giving to the community and this will give them another opportunity.”

Cathy Gill, a clinical dietitian at the hospital, said she often meets families who are having a difficult time putting meals on the table.

“As health care providers, we want to take care of our local folks,” she sid. “Food is basic to comfort, security and survival. We want to help those in need.”

The hospital employees’ goal is to fill one box truck “to the brim.”

“So many charities and donations are sent to other places,” Gill said. “We know that all food and supplies donated will stay to help our friends and neighbors.”

In addition to the “to the brim” campaign, hospital employees plan to give back to the community during the celebration of the hospital’s 80th anniversary by donating nonperishable food items to the food pantries, Bishop said.

The Cave City Chamber of Commerce began collecting nonperishable food items at its August general membership meeting.

“I have extended this challenge to the entire membership,” said Carol DeGroft, executive secretary of the Chamber. “Ideally, we could collect at least 225 items. Over the last five years, we have had collection boxes at Good Ole Days where admission to some of the events were two canned good per attendee, and at least three times per year, I ask for members to bring along nonperishable food items with them to our monthly meetings.”

The Cream and Sugar Cafe in Cave City is also collecting food for the drive.

“It’s something we try to support when we can. I think it’s important. With our economy and everything there are a lot of people out there who are going without,” said Jan Stoller, co-owner of the restaurant. “Anything we can do to help we want to do.”

Stoller urges people to drop off what they can.

“If they can spare a can or two to help out this winter, come and put it in our box,” she said.