MOUNT VERNON — While all eyes were on the Food for the Hungry drive on Public Square in Mount Vernon on Saturday, collections were being taken throughout the county for the food pantries in Danville, Fredericktown, Gambier, Centerburg and Howard/Apple Valley.
In Centerburg, Debbie Guarnera reported they had been serving about 35 to 40 families a month.
“We served 353 through October,” she said. “And it looks like we served 26 families in November. Right now the shelves look pretty good. That is because we get food from the Central Ohio Food Bank and the school kids have been bringing in what they have collected.”
Sue Wadian reported the Danville Interchurch food pantry had served about 1,036 families for the year.
“The shelves look pretty good right now because the school kids have brought their collections in,” she said. “And we buy food from the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. That keeps the shelves looking pretty good.”
The Fredericktown Interchurch food bank was also doing well.
“We serve in our food pantry about 65 families a month,” said Kelly Smith of the Fredericktown Interchurch. “The shelves are looking good and we purchase food from the Mid-Ohio Food Bank and that helps keep the shelves full.”
While all the local food pantries were doing well, they all stressed that that could not continue without the donations of food and money throughout the year.
The collection point in Gambier was held at the Village Market. It was being staffed early on Saturday by Buffy Hallinan, Maxine Walker, Donna Lewis and John Legros.
“We’re doing pretty well,” said Walker. “We’ve been getting food and a lot of cash donations.”
One of the early donors was Fred Kluge of Gambier who stuffed several bills in the can.
“It’s a good thing to do,” he said. “Merry Christmas.”
A collection point at the Centerburg Hometown Market was manned by members of the American Legion Post 460. Harlon Kiracofe, Homer White and Bob Smith were on duty for the first shift.
“It’s been a little slow so far,” said Kiracofe. “We’ve got a little bit of food and a little bit of money so far.”
Sharon Adovis was one early donor giving Smith some cash for the food drive.
“It’s just the right thing to do,” she said.
Apple Valley food collections were taking place in front of the Valley General Store.