Michele Payne heard about the need of Golden Harvest Food Bank through a recent canned food drive at her chiropractor's office.
She decided to help by organizing the Where Community Comes Together food and blood drive. The week-long drive will begin Sunday with special events from noon until 4 p.m. at Adventure Crossing on Wheeler Road in Martinez.
"Basically, this was just something I wanted to do," said Payne, a city employee of Grovetown. "I'm just doing for the community," she added.
Payne partnered with Adventure Crossing to offer special discounts for anyone making donations of non-perishable food items from Sunday through Sept. 20. Anyone making a four-can donation will receive 10 free game tokens. An eight-can donation gets a free round of miniature golf. Twelve cans earn a free go-cart ride, and anyone making a 24-can donation gets a free game of laser tag. Anyone bringing in 48 cans of food will receive a package offer, including one of each of the other rewards.
The event also will include free face-painting between 2 and 4 p.m. Blood donations will be taken by the Shepeard Community Blood Center from noon until 4 p.m.
Vikki Blair Adkins, Golden Harvest director of development, said the timing of the drive couldn't be better as the pantry feels the affects of a struggling economy.
"This has been a very difficult year for us and the reason is the same thing that is hitting every individual in the country," Adkins said.
The harsh economic times, including high fuel costs, have resulted in increased requests for assistance from the pantry as donations dropped and the costs of pick-up and distribution of food went up.
"As donations go down and distribution goes up, there is not the surplus on the shelves (that) there used to be," Adkins said. "There is not the ability to immediately turn around and handle contingencies."
Adkins said the effort to organize the event is one that she occasionally sees from individuals, but more frequently from groups or organizations.
"This kind of effort is just tremendous," Adkins said. "I cannot tell you how blessed Golden Harvest feels by that kind of support, which is critical to what we do, without a doubt."
For more information, call Payne at (706) 564-6224.
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