Volunteers in area neighborhoods will be collecting food and donations Saturday for the annual It's Spooky to be Hungry food drive.
"We are all over the CSRA," said Marsha Shlaer, publicity coordinator for the grassroots effort. "We are in Washington, Thomson, Aiken, we've really grown in Aiken, North Augusta."
The office of The Columbia County News-Times, in the Publix shopping center on Washington Road in Evans, also will be accepting Spooky donations Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
The food drive is strong in Augusta and Columbia County and has expanded to other states such as Texas, Virginia and North Carolina.
Started 11 years ago, It's Spooky to Be Hungry brought in more than 98,800 pounds of food and $56,000 last year. With no administrative costs in this volunteer-driven event, all of the proceeds go toward purchasing food for the needy in Augusta and surrounding communities.
Shlaer said there are more drop-off sites and more organizations that have expressed an interest in helping with the cause; however, that doesn't necessarily equate into a better drive than last year.
"Our unstated goal is we always hope to do better than the last year," she said.
Despite Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the huge outpouring of support from local residents to assist those affected by the natural disasters, Spooky did extremely well last year.
"We never expected last year with Katrina to have such phenomenal success," she said.
The Golden Harvest Food Bank has always been the beneficiary of the proceeds of the drive.
Now, It's Spooky to be Hungry has partnered with the organization. It is not a program of the food bank.
For more information about the food drive and to find a drop-off point or nearby neighborhood, call Vikki Adkins at the Golden Harvest Food Bank at (706) 736-1199, Ext. 229.
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