Helping the hungry in Blount County will be as easy as walking to the mailbox this week.
Volunteers with Community Food Connection of Blount County and the National Association of Letter Carriers will hold their 18th annual one-day food drive on Saturday, May 14.
Dean Moss, president of the Community Food Connection, said the drive brought in more than 50,000 pounds of food last year. Due to growing demand, the Food Connection needs that poundage to be even greater this year, he said.
The number of families and people who visit the Food Connection has increased significantly, according to Moss. Last year, the CFC furnished food to approximately 60,000 Blount County residents. “The number of people we continue to feed is growing daily,” Moss said. “We are really counting on the community participation in the food drive.”
Frank Rutherford, food drive coordinator and CFC vice president, said the group saw a 20 percent increase in the number of children they served in 2010. “That is a big thing that really worried us, so we’re fighting that. We want to get things children like to eat so they can get some help,” he said.
Rutherford said another trend that volunteers have seen is the number of situations where adult children have lost jobs and moved back in with their families. “We’re seeing families doubling up in living conditions, and they have to have food,” he said.
Letter carriers, Community Food Connection volunteers and students from the I.G. Brown Training Education Center NCO Academy/Airman Leadership School at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base will be collecting non-perishable food items that are placed in bags beside residents’ mailboxes in Alcoa, Louisville, Maryville, Walland, Friendsville, Rockford and Townsend.
Residents who would like to participate should place non-perishable food items beside their mailbox by 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 14.
Suggested non-perishable food donations include canned items (including vegetables, meats, fruits and meals), plastic containers of peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, pasta, cereal and crackers. Other non-perishable items will also be accepted.
For those wishing to make a cash donation, mail the donation to Community Food Connection of Blount County, P.O. Box 786, Alcoa, TN 37701.