The Times West Virginian

January 2, 2014

Gift of Love food drive is another chance to show generosity

Times West Virginian

— We’re lucky to live in a community where people are so willing to help others in need.

That’s not just our opinion. It’s a sentiment that is clearly shared by each member of this community, and that generosity is on display year in and year out as individuals contribute to numerous successful campaigns geared at helping their fellow Marion Countians.

We hope their generosity continues this winter as we embark on the fifth year of the Times West Virginian’s Gift of Love food drive.

We have no words to describe how moved we were at the conclusion of last year’s food drive. We had set a goal of $5,000 in monetary donations. When all was said and done, we had seven pallets of donated food and more than $13,000 to purchase staples in bulk to benefit 11 local food pantries.

The need is certainly there. Local food pantries continue to see the number of people within the area who are in need of their services rise. There are many in need who have suddenly hit a hard patch. There are families dealing with unemployment or death. There are seniors living on fixed incomes who sometimes have hardships because of high utility bills, medical expenses and home repairs.

Any one of us could be in the position of being in need, the kind of need when a box of food makes all of the difference.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can help.

The Gift of Love works like this: People drop off donations of money or nonperishable food items to the Times West Virginian’s business office at 300 Quincy St. Money and items will be collected from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and donations will be accepted until Feb. 13.

Then we’ll go shopping, spending every single penny in-county to purchase food in bulk. On Feb. 14 — Valentine’s Day — the items that have been collected and purchased will be distributed to different organizations throughout the county to serve the less fortunate.

And it’s not just individuals and families that can get involved. You can get your coworkers or church group involved. Encourage officials at the school your children attend to set up a satellite donation location. If you lead a community service or civic organization, make it a special project.

We know the effort will be appreciated. Each year, when representatives from the local food pantries come by to pick up the food being donated to their organizations, they are shocked at the amount of food. They’re also extremely grateful to such a generous community that continues to work together to help put food on the plates of so many local families.

We know you’re up to the challenge again. Every year since the food drive began, the response has been greater than the year before. Last year’s results were off the charts and went a long, long way toward helping hundreds of families in this county make it through the winter months with food on the table.

There is still a great need for these services in Marion‚ÄąCounty, and the need is still growing. This is our chance to help make sure those in need get a little extra help.