As they have in recent years, the Fayette County Farm Bureau was on-site at Pinnacle Foods in St. Elmo, handing out food to all comers on Saturday, Aug. 12.
The food drive served approximately 350 people after the organization raised around $1500.
The Bureau’s Brandi Cripe, who serves on the women’s committee and as secretary for the organization, said the money used to purchase food is raised throughout the year through various fundraisers and depending upon the amount gathered, the Bureau is able to hold drives at Vandalia and St. Elmo.
There is no income or residency requirement to collect food. The volunteers simply ask for a zip code and how many seniors and children. Everyone then gets the same items, collecting one from each station that is set up. People received items such as milk, cantaloupe, corn, cherries, chick peas, apples, cabbage, watermelon, and frozen vegetables.. The amount offered depends upon the amount of money raised. Anything left over is sent to a local food pantry after the drive.
The drives are held throughout the summer to avoid conflicting with planting and harvest seasons. Bureau members serve as volunteers. Rural King in Vandalia provides carts for the event and Cripe said that when the event is held at Pinnacle, the company provides a forklift for use.
The Fayette County Farm Bureau also assisted with the summer lunch program, providing food for children during summer weekends.