The second annual Franklin County Hunger Task Force food drive will be held Saturday, July 28, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at participating grocers.

The countywide drive will benefit food pantries involved with the task force.

Participating stores include Schnucks, Walgreens and Wal-Mart in Washington; Country Mart and Save-A-Lot in St. Clair; Wal-Mart, Fink’s and Fricks in Union; and Wal-Mart in Eureka and Sullivan.

“Each year we need the food worse than the year before,” said Sandy Crider, executive director of Loving Hearts Outreach. “In the summer months, the children who are at poverty level do not get free or reduced lunches (like they would at school). That’s why the need increases when the public schools are out.”

Loving Hearts Outreach in Washington also will serve as a drop-off location and will oversee the operation and distribution of food to the individual food pantries following the drive.

Each location will have volunteers at the doors collecting food items.

Suggested items include boxed pasta, rice, canned potatoes, cereal, oatmeal, canned meats, canned fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, jelly, soups, sauces, zip-lock bags, dessert mixes, toilet paper, paper towels, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap — both hand and body, shampoo, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies and feminine products.

Each station will collect financial donations as well.

Crider said that with USDA commodities being cut again, the need is greater than it has been in years past.

The drive is a collaboration between the Franklin County Hunger Task Force and Operation Food Search.

For more information, people may call Sandy Crider at Loving Hearts, 636-390-8300.