Back a dozen or so years ago, all the advance notice the community needed about the area's biggest food drive was a few mentions the day before volunteers took their one-day, door-to-door walk.
But now, in its 13th year, It's Spooky to be Hungry is too big to be contained in a single day. And that is a marvelous "problem" to have.
Started by three Evans women in their neighborhoods in 1995, Spooky has grown to nearly 350 area subdivisions, churches and business-collection sites. Last year, a whopping 2,711 volunteers collected more than 53 tons of non-perishable food and $58,000 in donations.
Because Spooky has grown so large, with affiliate drives now operating in seven states, the organization last year formalized its relationship with its recipient: Golden Harvest Food Bank.
Spooky is the largest one-day drive benefiting Golden Harvest, and every dime raised by the drive goes to hunger relief.
The affiliation with Golden Harvest is vital. The 30-county organization's long reach means every dollar of Spooky donations is leveraged into $7 in food-buying power.
Vikki Adkins, who has a dual role as Golden Harvest's development director and as CSRA chapter coordinator for Spooky, tells reporter Scott Trubey that one in four children in the 30 counties served by Golden Harvest is at risk of going hungry.
The numbers are lower in Columbia County, but that only points to the charitable obligation our more-fortunate citizens have to be generous.
The main Spooky drive is Saturday, but many Columbia County businesses - including The News-Times, a long-time supporter of Spooky - also have collection boxes available all this week for donations.
The Bible says God loves a cheerful giver. And the thousands of hungry people fed because of cheerful donations to Spooky certainly appreciate it, too.
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