McDavid issues challenge to help Food Bank reach 1 million pounds

Thursday, November 17, 2011 | 2:30 p.m. CST; updated 7:43 p.m. CST, Thursday, November 17, 2011

COLUMBIA — Mayor Bob McDavid urged residents at a news conference Thursday morning to help the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri achieve “The Million Pound Challenge.”

McDavid hopes people will donate enough food and money to reach a 1 million-pound goal by Dec. 15, which he has declared as a day of “caring for our neighbors in need.”

Upcoming food drives

Nov. 22, Partnership Against Hunger: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Schnucks and Walmart stores.

November-December, Check out Hunger: Customers at local grocery stores can add a donation to their bill by having a cashier scan their card. Stores participating are Hyvee, Schnucks, Patricia's, Eastgate, Gerbes and Moser's.

Dec. 15 , One 4 one Holiday Food Drive: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the corner of Providence and Broadway. Firefighters will be collecting cash and food for the food bank.

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“Food assistance in our community is at an unprecedented high,” McDavid said. "We have to do something about it.”

The Food Bank released a statement revealing that the number of people receiving food assistance in Boone County increased by 37 percent in the past two years.

“It’s important for the citizens of Columbia to answer the call of need in our community,” McDavid said, “because one thing I know about Columbians is that Columbians are generous to those in need.”

Peggy Kirkpatrick, the executive director of the Food Bank, said the Food Bank currently provides food for more than 20,000 people a month. She said they hope to distribute 30 million pounds of food this year, but that will not be enough.

“It’s my hope that those that have hesitated to get involved before will do it now because the call to action is now,” Kirkpatrick said.

For every $1 donated, the Food Bank can purchase as much as 20 pounds of food.

The purple donation barrels will be placed throughout the city at all nine fire stations, on every floor of the Daniel Boone City Building and in other places.

“I’m a great fan of Mayor Bob McDavid anyway and for him taking the time out of his busy schedule to challenge our community to rise to the occasion is just awesome, and so we’re deeply appreciative,” Kirkpartick said.

The "day of caring" will take place from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 15, at the corner of Providence Road and Broadway. Local firefighters will be collecting money and food to help reach the goal of one million pounds.

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