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Food drive to benefit local programs

By KATE THURSTON - kthurston@newsexaminer.com

Eight local feeding programs will benefit from a Holiday Food Drive sponsored on Friday by the Fayette County Food Council.

Volunteers working with the Food Council will be collecting non-perishable food and personal items at the entrances to local stores that sell groceries. The items will be distributed to eight different food pantries and community meal programs.

Food will be accepted from 4-7 p.m. at Wal-Mart, Kroger, Save-A-Lot, and at both Dollar General stores.

All the items will be taken to the First Presbyterian Church, where they will be weighed and sorted for distribution Saturday. 

People who would like to volunteer at the Holiday Food Drive may call the Purdue Extension Fayette County office, and ask for Becky Marvel, 765-825-8502. There will be two shifts, 4 to 5:30 and 5:30 to 7 p.m.

“The Fayette County Food Policy Council started three years ago as a few citizens were concerned about the community losing Gleaners coming on a regular basis,” Marvel, Purdue Extension community wellness coordinator, said.

Gleaners had been coming for five years with the hopes of helping the county’s high food insecurity rate, she said. Gleaners had indicated they might not continue coming because of lack of local volunteer assistance. Since then, volunteer help has been organized and Gleaners has continued to serve Fayette County.

Partnerships with the Purdue Extension Nutrition Education Program, Community Voices Health and Nature Capital have been vital in helping the FCFPC achieve many of its goals.

“The mission of the council is to educate and to help pantries to provide healthier food to clients since we are 92 out of 92 for poorest health,” she said. “It is a huge economic impact when our citizens have chronic diseases, some of which could be corrected with a proper diet.”