Family Connections food drive collects more than 5,000 pounds of food

Published 6:10 pm Friday, December 9, 2016

psl_0047By Brandon O’Connor


The shelves at the Bainbridge Food Pantry are stocked full after a community wide food drive raised over 5,000 pounds of can goods that will be donated to families in need over the next few months. This year marked the fifth annual Family Connection Food Drive for Bainbridge and Decatur County sponsored by First Port City Bank and according to Cathi Galpin it was the biggest one to date.

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Collection boxes were placed at Belk, Food Giant, Health Products, First Port City Bank, First Baptist Church, First United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church, Memorial Hospital and Manor, Care 360 and Winn Dixie. Drives were also held at John Johnson and Jones Wheat Elementary Schools.

“It is extremely important,” Ronnie Burke, director of Family Connection, said of the drive. “As we took the first load into the food bank it was empty and now there is no room.”

Classes at John Johnson and Jones Wheat competed to see who could collect the most food with the winning classes being rewarded a pizza party sponsored by First Port City Bank.

At John Johnson, Lane Moye Edwards’ fourth grade class won and at Jones Wheat the winning class was Georgette McNelson’s kindergarten class.

“I am so proud of my students,” McNelson said. “It was very impressive to watch them each day become so excited when a classmate brought in a can good or can goods to add to our collection. As I watched their excitement of bringing in the can goods and listened to them talk about how many can goods they would bring in the next day, I decided that even if they did not win what we thought was an ice cream party to purchase ice cream for them anyways.”

She didn’t have to worry about the ice cream though, as they received their pizza party for winning on Friday. The food pantry is open every Tuesday from 9 to 10 a.m. and is located at the corner of Troupe and Crawford streets.

According to Ann Brannen, who helps run the pantry, they serve an average 48 households a week and provide them with cans and other dry good.

“The amount of foods that comes in can help out for several months,” Brannen said. “This really supports three of four months worth of food. It is very significant to helping those in our community and feeding them.”

During the drive, Family Connections also raised around $500 that will be used to restock the shelves once the food from the drive has been dispersed.

Food Giant has agreed to donate a can for every one that Family Connections buys with the donated money.

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