Canned Goods for Christmas food drive currently underway

By JAMES PHILLIPS,

Around the holidays many in this community make extra effort to help those in need or those less fortunate. When looking to help those in need one almost never has to look further the surrounding community. The Canned Goods for Christmas food drive has recognized the need and event organizers have put together the first annual food drive in order to combat the need for food to feed the less fortunate.

The canned food drive is looking to collect canned and non-perishable food items that will be donated directly to the Carlisle Crisis Center Food Bank located at 518 Airport Road in Forest. The food bank serves all of the local area helping those people in need. Just in the past year the food bank has helped 1,772 families in need and over 3,000 individuals.

Rob Hunt, Pastor of Youth and Education at Forest Baptist Church, is one of the food drive’s organizers and said that this initiative is really striving to help local families and individuals in need. “There were always several food drives during this time of the year at the schools and through other organizations but we really wanted to try and coordinate these efforts and work together,” Hunt said. “This is the first time that our civic organizations and churches have really worked together and with the help of the City of Forest and Mayor Nancy Chambers we are looking to really make a difference here in our local community.

“We wanted this to be a true community wide effort so through friends and church members we reached out to the local banks and civic clubs to get as many organizations involved as possible,” Hunt said. “Mayor Chambers heard about this food drive and got the city involved which has been a true blessing in making this into a true community-wide event”

The canned food drive has numerous drop-off locations including the Forest Baptist Church, Forest United Methodist Church, Bank of Forest. Community Bank, and Forest City Hall. The food drive started during Thanksgiving and will run through Christmas. There are no set collection times and Hunt said that the food will be accepted as long as someone is at the location to take it. Each drop-off location will be making deliveries of donated food to the Carlisle Crisis Center Food Bank on a weekly basis.

The Carlisle Food Bank is open Monday and Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and strives to help and feed as many as possible. Hunt said that we never know when you may be the one in need and that is why the work of the food ban is so vitally important to our community.

This is the first year of the coordinated Canned Goods for Christmas food drive, but Hunt hopes this is just the beginning of am annual event that will provide needed help in the local community. “So far everything has gone really well and this was truly grown into a community event rather than just a church event,” he said. “We hope that this year is just the start of something that can really help our local families and individuals in need.”

The outreach and the willingness of the community to come together for such a wonderful cause is a true expression of caring. Hunt believes that with the coordination of many of the local civic organizations and churches this event can make a difference, and with the involvement of the City of Forest it has great support that can make this a lasting success.

“Mayor Chambers has been extremely supportive and wanted the City of Forest involved from the beginning,” Hunt said. “With the support of Mayor Chambers and the city being fully involved we look to help as many families as possible this year and in the years to come.”