Cumberland County schools again rose to the Harvest for Hunger food drive challenge by collecting more than 7,000 pounds of food donations to be distributed among the many community feeding programs that help families throughout the year.
“The Harvest for Hunger Food Drive continues to be a great success,” said Mickey Eldridge, executive director of Cumberland Good Samaritans. “When it comes to organizing and addressing unmet needs in Cumberland County, our community always steps up by responding in a big way. It is always exciting to see our schools and their students get involved in a cause such as hunger, knowing they may very well be helping their own friends or others in their school.”
A particular emphasis this year, is being placed on serving children and their families in danger of hunger.
Additional food is offered to the established Backpack Program in each of the schools. Children are identified by teachers who may not have enough to eat at home. Second Harvest of America provides kid-friendly food items targeting each food group to be sent home with children to help sustain them through the weekend, when they may not have a regular meal.
Eldridge said Good Samaritans hopes to put more food into these homes through the donations received from Harvest for Hunger.
Each school had collection bins for donated food throughout October. Volunteers inventory, sort and box the donated food items in preparation for distribution back into the schools or other feeding programs.
In addition, many families will receive food relief over the coming holidays and during cold winter months through the food pantry of Cumberland Good Samaritans.
The overall winner was again North Cumberland Elementary, which collected 1,959 cans of food and $1,233.33 in money.
Stone Elementary came in second, with collections of 1,743 cans and $127.02 in money. Homestead Elementary placed a strong third with 1,017 cans collected. Pleasant Hill Elementary was in fourth place with collections of 716 cans collected and $110.05 in money.
Eldridge noted that even schools with a high number of students on free or reduced lunch or with a high population of economically disadvantaged students, children and their families support the harvest campaign by sharing what they can.
She thanked everyone who helped in the Harvest for Hunger food drive in any way and encourages other groups, churches or organizations to consider a food drive in the coming months.
Cumberland Good Samaritans offers a number of direct and social service programs to assist families in crisis, including emergency assistance with utility and food, as well as assistance to remove barriers to getting and keeping a job. This may be through job search, scholarship assistance; help with gas to get to work, purchasing a uniform or other needs once someone gets a job. This is accomplished with the Barrier Fund which is supported by the United Fund of Cumberland County.
“Cumberland Good Samaritans has been addressing the unmet needs of families in this community for 35 years,” Eldridge said. “God has no hands but ours. Thank you for being a partner with us in this effort.”
Cumberland Good Samaritans is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations are tax deductible and make a difference in the county.
Call 931-484-3225 for more about making year-end deductible contributions and other ways to help, including volunteering, meeting community service hours and support needs or services.