Cans can help: Oxford Kiwanis Club hosts food drive
Published: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 01:10
The Oxford Kiwanis Club, in partnership with the Oxford Community Choice Pantry, is holding its annual Holiday Food Drive 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Oxford residents who would like to donate may place nonperishable food in bags or boxes by their front doors by 1 p.m. Sunday for collection.
The Kiwanis drive, which has been conducted for more than 20 years, is one of the largest food drives of the year for the Oxford Community Pantry. According to Anne Koehler, coordinator of the Holiday Food Drive, the Oxford Kiwanis Club works to raise money for various organizations in the Oxford Community including the Academic Boosters Club, Substance Abuse and the Early Intervention Program.
“The primary mission of the pantry is to provide food assistance to the members of the community who are facing ‘food insecurity,’” Bob Ratterman, director of the Oxford Community Choice Pantry said.
According to Ratterman, the drive is accepting canned or boxed green beans, stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, fruit and mixes for bread and desserts. Monetary donations are also being accepted to purchase other needed items.
He said those who would like to participate in door-to-door collection should meet at the Presbyterian Seminary church building, at the corner of Church and Poplar, by 1 p.m. on Nov. 3.
The volunteers will also be visiting Bonham Road and Springwood subdivision. Volunteers will be clearly identified, carrying boxes with Holiday Food Drive flyers, Ratterman said.
After food donations have been collected, the Community Choice Pantry will sort and distribute the food, making Thanksgiving and Christmas bags for each family in need. Last year the Kiwanis Club, 200 Oxford residents and Miami University students and staff, were able to collect 4580 pounds of food, enough to make 300 bags.
“It’s more food than just for the holiday,” Koehler said. “It goes beyond just for those dinners”
Koehler also said the Kiwanis Club helped fund the Backpack Program that sends children in the community, who often do not have enough to eat during the weekend, home with backpacks full of food.
The Oxford Community Choice Pantry also runs a Summer Harvest program that helps families with school-age children get through the summer by giving them a free bag of food when they come in on shopping days,
“School children are especially susceptible to health issues if they are not eating right,” Ratterman said. “Hungry children have a hard time concentrating in school.”
Those who would like to volunteer for the Holiday Food Drive can call 523-8961 with any further questions.