This year marks the 11th annual collection of the It's Spooky To Be Hungry Food Drive.
And it couldn't come at a scarier time.
The food drive, which began in just three Columbia County neighborhoods, has swelled to more than 250 collection sites in 10 CSRA counties. Along the way, it has grown to become the largest single annual collection benefiting Golden Harvest Food Bank.
This year, after hurricanes Katrina and Rita ravaged the Gulf coast, Golden Harvest was hit hard, too, as many of the agency's donors have diverted their assistance directly to the Gulf area.
That's thinned Golden Harvest's inventory, but local needs in the huge area served by Golden Harvest haven't abated. So Spooky's boost is badly needed.
The good news? As a part of the growing Big Changes Start Small local organization, Spooky is living that name. Not only did Spooky start small, but each participant can see their individual effort blossom into huge results.
"None of us is likely to have the opportunity to do something really big, and it can feel as if the small things we can do just don't count," says Evelyn Browne, president of BCSS and a Spooky founder. "But every pound and every dollar Spooky collects comes in the same way - through one person doing his or her small part."
The result? In 2004, Spooky broke all its previous records by collecting 86,000 pounds of donated food and $46,000 in cash donations. That's a terrific help for Golden Harvest, and it's a wonderful way for the community to come together for a good, common goal of fighting hunger.
If your neighborhood isn't participating in Spooky, there are plenty of places to drop off donations - including The News-Times office, where we're proud for the second year in a row to be a Spooky collection site. The office is open for donations each day through Oct. 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Publix shopping center on Washington Road in Evans, and we'll also be open Saturday morning while the rest of Columbia County holds its door-to-door Spooky drive.
It really is spooky to be hungry, something fortunately few of us in Columbia County know. But helping doesn't have to be scary.
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