The statistics are staying steady: One in four students in Story County continues to be eligible to receive free/reduced lunch. Once summer break starts, these children won’t have access to school-provided meals. Therefore, the need for food at local food pantries is even greater during the summer months. To combat the need, United Way of Story County (UWSC) is holding the sixth annual LIVE UNITED Food Drive May 12-21.
"Local pantries across the county continue to see an increase in the number of families served," said Shannon Bardole, UWSC administrative assistant and food drive coordinator. "The need is there, and we are asking the community to help."
In 2013, Story County residents helped UWSC collect nearly 8,000 pounds of food and more than $1,900, which was distributed to local food pantries. Food pantries receiving the donations this year include Bethesda Community Food Pantry, Calvary United Methodist Church, First Evangelical Free Church, Free Market, Mid-Iowa Community Action (MICA) and The Salvation Army in Ames, Cambridge Food Pantry, Colo Community Food Pantry, Huxley Food Pantry, Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry in Story City, Maxwell Food Pantry, McCallsburg/Zearing Food Bank, Nevada Community Cupboard and the Slater/Sheldahl Food Pantry.
More than 100 local organizations have partnered with UWSC to serve as drop points for donations. In Huxley, drop-off locations include: 3C’s, Ballard Dental Associates, Fidelity Bank, Huxley Communications, LilyPad Learning Center, South Story Bank & Trust and VisionBank. Drop off items in Slater at South Story Bank & Trust or Town & Country Market.
For a complete list of participating organizations across the county, a list of needed items in the food pantries and more information, visit www.uwstory.org.