BEE the Change food drive: 4,649 items collected

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Mount Sterling Mayor Marci Darlington, organizer of the BEE the Change food drive, stands among the donations her community collected.

(Posted Nov. 7, 2022)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

In support of World Food Day and Make a Difference Day in October, Mount Sterling Mayor Marci Darlington organized “BEE the Change,” a friendly competition in which London, Mount Sterling, Plain City and West Jefferson competed to see which community could collect the most non-perishable food items to donate to local food pantries.

The finally tally is in. Together, the four communities collected a grand total of 4,649 food items, as well as cash donations. These donations were delivered to five food pantries around the county.

London Mayor Patrick Closser and London Elementary fifth-grader Cameron Henderson hold signs representing the number of food items donated by the London community for the county-wide BEE the Change food drive. Henderson collected the most items. London Elementary students as a whole donated 1,700 of the city’s 2,147 items.

London collected the most items at 2,147. Students at London Elementary School competed to see which class could bring in the most donations; the winning class enjoyed an ice cream party. That effort accounted for 1,700 of the city’s 2,147 items.

West Jefferson collected 2,001 items, while Mount Sterling collected 379 items and Plain City collected 122 items.

West Jefferson Mayor Ray Martin presents Linda Collins, a Good Samaritan Food Pantry volunteer and board member, with food and cash donations collected as part of the BEE the Change food drive.

Darlington is pleased with the way she and her fellow mayors came together for a good cause. This is the second time she has rallied the four communities to help others. Late last year, they collected everything from bottled water to baby formula to send to tornado-ravaged Mayfield, Ky.

“With BEE the Change, I threw it at them (the other mayors) and they were, like, ‘Yup, let’s do it,’” Darlington said. “I think it looks good for Madison County as a whole when the mayors can come together and do something that’s impactful for all of our communities.”

Plain City Mayor Jody Carney bags up food donations for the county-wide BEE the Change food drive.

The food pantries that benefited from the food drive are the Mount Sterling Community Center food pantry, Good Samaritan Food Pantry in West Jefferson, DNA/Plain City Food Pantry, and London Food Pantry and HELP House in London.

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