The annual Kops and Kids food drive is underway in Franklin County schools.

Students throughout the county are being encouraged to bring in food items to donate to the school’s food pantry of choice.

Union Police also will be at Walmart in Union Nov. 18 and 25, collecting items for the Union Food Pantry.

The challenge runs through Nov. 17.

Homeroom teachers will keep track of the number of nonperishable items their class collects.

In order to count, an item must have a value of at least 25 cents.

One dollar will count for four cans and cash donations are encouraged.

Last year, students in the Union R-XI School District collected over 9,000 food items and more than $2,000 in cash donations, which represented an increase of more than 2,000 food items and more than $1,400 in cash from 2015.

This year’s goal is to collect more than 10,000 food items.

The classroom that collects the most on each campus will receive a pizza party, compliments of the Chief of Police of the Union Police Department.

Union donations will benefit the Union Food Pantry. All donations help local families in need.