Union businesses and local residents are asked to “Have a Heart” and help wipe out hunger.
The third annual “In Union Against Hunger” food drive will be Jan. 30 and run through Feb. 12. The theme is “Have a Heart for the Needy This Valentine’s Day.”
The drive is spearheaded by Dr. Michael Edwards of Optima Dental Group in Union.
“Many of us don’t have to worry about how we’ll feed our families, but so many children in our community go to bed hungry every night,” he said. “We need to do whatever we can to help stop that. Even small donations can make a huge difference in someone’s life.”
To participate in the competition, business owners must register at the drive’s website www.inunionagainsthunger.com.
It is important for businesses to register so they can be recognized.
When they register, they’ll be asked to specify whether they’ll collect nonperishable food items or money, or both.
Donations may be picked up or participants can drop them off at the Union Food Pantry Feb. 12-13. Some of those donations will be distributed on Valentine’s Day.
The winner will be featured in The Missourian.
In 2012, there were about 2,000 families and 5,000 residents served by the pantry.
“It’s just amazing to see how much it takes to run this place, but the people of Union are very giving,” said pantry volunteer Ken Lingle. “We couldn’t keep the pantry open if it weren’t for them.”
Since 1994, the number of families who are helped by the Union Food Pantry has increased by nearly 1,400 from 611 to 2,000.
Monetary donations are used to purchase perishable items, such as meat. Nearly 100 percent of donations go directly to serve those in need.
Scouts, U.S. Postal Service workers, churches, businesses and individuals, among others, all make donations to the pantry which help keep it afloat.
Union Food Pantry has served the Union and Villa Ridge ZIP codes since 1994. It shares with other area food pantries and receives support from the United Way. The facilities are donated, and it uses only unpaid volunteers. Monetary donations are used to purchase perishable items, such as meat. Nearly 100 percent of donations go directly to serve those in need.
Many volunteers generously donate time to the food pantry to mark food expiration dates, stock shelves, staff the facility, distribute pantry items to families, and purchase food.
There are food pantry donation boxes at many local churches. Contributions of grocery items can also be taken directly to the food pantry.
Food can be dropped off between 2-4 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, or by appointment. Cash contributions can be mailed to the Union Food Pantry, at 113 W. Locust St., Union, MO 63084.
Families needing assistance are invited to call the food pantry at 636-584-7050.