EDEN - Representatives from the eight benefiting organizations were on March 23 for the 3rd Annual County Wide Food Drive’s kick-off breakfast at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This year’s goal is 40,000 pounds but sponsoring Committee of 100 Co-chairman Blake Dawson, who welcomed everyone, said he hopes the goal will be surpassed.
“Children in our community are going to bed hungry because their parents can not find jobs to put roofs over their heads and food on their tables,” he said.
“The needs are growing and our food pantries and soup kitchens are struggling to keep up with the requests for assistance.
“As a community, we need to step up and help people in need. This committee is making an extra effort to surpass our goal this year because more and more people are coming to our food pantries each week.
“If each person who has an income would give just a few cans of food, our food pantries and soup kitchens would be able to help more starving people.”
Also on hand were representatives from some of the partners in the food drive that officially starts April 1 and culminates on April 26 and 27. Individuals, businesses, organizations and churches are among the partners who display collection boxes and encourage their customers and members to donate food.
At the breakfast, Boy Scout Troop No. 4505 members Michael Richardson and Bryton Bluth presented the colors and Harrison Kinney led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Pastor Rob Peterson of the Leaksville Moravian Church performed guitar music as everyone enjoyed a breakfast provided by Eden businesses Food Lion on Meadow Road, Burger King and Elree’s Bakery. Peterson also played two special patriotic songs during the program.
Reidsville Mayor Pro-Tem Tom Balsley discussed how the efforts of the committee have helped numerous citizens of Rockingham County dependent on the various food banks and soup kitchens represented in the food drive.
“Right now is a critical time for all organizations whose mission is to distribute food to people who have been down on their luck,” he said. “These agencies are being called on more and more as our unemployment rates increase at alarming rates.
“We profess to want to follow Jesus’ example to help other people and I think our mission is to do this,” Balsley said.
“If we as churches, or individuals or groups of people can do this, we are helping our neighbors.
The Rockingham County Commissioners have declared March 23 to April 28 “A Month of Service” for the county. The food drive is on the county’s web site at http://rc.municipalcms.com/newsView.aspx?nid=6737
It also can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/347129855395529/
The food collected in the various areas will stay within the community where it is collected unless otherwise specified, Dawson noted.
Food recipients include The Cooperative Christian Ministries (CCM), The Salvation Army of Eden, The Salvation Army of Reidsville and Western Rockingham County, Reidsville Outreach Ministries, Reidsville Soup Kitchen, Hands Of God Food Bank in Mayodan (serving all of western Rockingham County), the Rockingham County Veterans’ Coalition and The American Red Cross.
Quite a few schools already have been collecting food since their spring break and tests occur during the month of April.
Collection sites on April 26 and 27 will be: The Leaksville Moravian Church, Eden; Zion Baptist Church, Reidsville; N.C. National Guard Armory, Wentworth; First Baptist Church, Mayodan; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Eden; Yancyeville Road Fire Department, Reidsville.
Oregon Hill, Monroeton, Wentworth and Bethany fire departments in the county are promoting the food drive on their signs and are serving as drop-off points throughout the month in their communities
Dawson encourages anyone wishing to participate to contact him at 336-432-2843 or Co-chairman Ann Fish at 627-1256.