Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

August 5, 2011

Local ‘To the Brim’ food drive starts again

Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — The “To the Brim” community food drive is slated to begin at the end of the month, but officials say those wanting to donate don’t have to wait until then.

“Anyone who wants to start their own food drive now can start collecting food, whether it is schools, Beta Clubs, colleges, churches or organizations. Anybody who wants to start now can start now,” said Dr. Bharat Mody, a Glasgow surgeon and food drive volunteer.

The actual date for the food drive is Aug. 29 to Sept. 4.

“That is when the volunteers will be standing in front of Walmart, Houchens and Food Lion,” he said.

This year marks the third year for the food drive, which benefits Community Relief Fund of Glasgow-Barren County Inc. and the Salvation Army Services Unit food pantries in Glasgow and PathFinders Inc.’s food pantry in Cave City.

The goal is to fill those food pantries to the brim and then some.

“This year there is more need than last year. We had a food drive last summer, but by the holidays, in December, we were empty again,” Mody said. “We have to do this again. I’m asking everyone to step up their effort, because there is more of a need this year.”

The need is due to the downturn in the economy, which has led to job losses, which, coupled with increasing food and gas prices, means more people are needing help, said Sue Haynes, executive director of the Community Relief Fund of Glasgow-Barren County Inc.

“It’s like everything is going up but the paychecks,” she said.

Donations of non-perishable food items are needed, including canned vegetables, canned fruits, canned meats, cereals, oatmeal and food items suitable for babies, including formula.

“We are serving ages zero and up,” Haynes said. “Need doesn’t have an age.”

Haynes urges everyone to check expiration dates on items they intend to donate. Anything that has expired cannot be distributed, she said.

Sponsoring the food drive this year are Houchens Industries, Edmonton State Bank and T.J. Samson Community Hospital.

Houchens Industries has agreed to match food donations collected at its stores.

Houchens Industries matched food drive donations last year.

Chris Holly, district manager for Houchens Industries, said drop off points will be established at the company’s stores in Glasgow and Cave City.

The stores will have pre-packaged food items worth $5 that customers can purchase specifically for the food drive.

“They can buy anything they want in the store [for the food drive],” Holly said, adding the store will still match the amount the customers purchase. If the customers don’t wish to stop for the food drive, but still want to make a donation the pre-packaged bags of food will be available at the front of the stores, he said.

Last year Houchens Industries contributed 2,000 food items for the food drive.

 “We would like to get that much or more this year,” Holly said.

T.J. Samson Community Hospital is participating in the food drive this year by donating $500 worth of non-perishable food items specifically for children, such as cereals, cereal bars and oatmeal, said Laura Belcher, chief of planning and business development.

Food drives are also being held in the individual hospital departments, said Tootie Bishop, who heads up the hospital’s radiology department.

Edmonton State Bank came on board this year to help with the food drive because of the increasing need that exists.

“With the economy the way it is there are a lot of people struggling and we just felt like it was something we could do to help the community,” said Jeff Constant, assistant vice president.