(Posted Dec. 21, 2015)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Residents of Mount Sterling have a “can” do attitude.
In just four weeks, the community donated over 2,000 canned and boxed food items to the Mount Sterling Community Center’s 2nd Annual Cans for a Cause. The center’s food pantry organizers can’t wait to see how many more cans are donated by the Dec. 31 deadline.
“It’s been super successful each year,” said volunteer Lois Patton.
The center started Cans for a Cause to supplement its food pantry staples with items clients can use to make end-of-year holiday meals. Participants donate stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and the like. The drive starts Nov. 1 and goes through Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“Last year was our first year, and our goal was 1,000 items. We got over 2,000,” Patton said. “This year, our goal was 1,500, and we were already at 2,000 by Dec. 1.”
Churches, businesses, school groups and individuals pitch in. This year, some businesses are even challenging each other to see who can donate the most poundage of food, said Annie Tomlinson, center director.
In the past, the pantry boxed up specific items to give to clients for their holiday meals. Now, the pantry invites clients in to choose the items their families would like.
This year’s Cans for a Cause provided Thanskgiving fixings to 126 families representing 452 individuals. The generosity will continue Christmas week.
In addition to the special effort at the holidays, the pantry operates year-round, providing everyday food items, personal care items, paper products, dishsoap and laundry detergent to people in need in the Mount Sterling area. Clients are welcome to pick up boxed and canned goods once a month. Fresh produce is available twice a month during the summer and on the fourth Tuesday of each month the rest of the year. The pantry serves an average of 132 households (457 individuals) each month.
Donations can be dropped off at the center between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday -Friday and between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday. The food pantry is open from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays. For more details, call visit mountsterlingcc.org or call (740) 869-2453. The center is located at 164 E. Main St.