Monday marks the beginning of the annual Cares & Shares food drive that benefits Cullman Caring for Kids’ food bank.
The annual food drive, a partnership between The Times and Cullman Caring for Kids, has become a holiday tradition of giving bringing much needed nourishment to local families throughout the year.
We have set Oct. 9 through Nov. 17 for this year’s food drive, with a goal of contributing 200,000 pounds of food.
Cullman Caring for Kids Director Javon Daniel and staff work to keep the food bank stocked throughout the year, which is a monumental task because of the number of local families that rely on the service each month. About 650 families need the service monthly. Some of the families need help once or twice, others more often.
The local organization is simply about what its name states — caring for kids. The original purpose of Cullman Caring for Kids was to raise awareness through education about child abuse, how to recognize it and how to stop it. That mission remains firmly in place.
The food bank was added as a part of that mission as the staff learned several years ago of families running short of food because of economic conditions beyond their control.
Through the years, the Cares & Shares food drive has brought forth an outpouring of contributions of everything from canned goods and diapers to generous cash donations. In the last two years, the donations have come close to equaling the 200,000-pound goal.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, approximately 13 million American children live with or are at risk of experiencing hunger. Because childhood represents such a critical period in human development, the long-term impact of hunger on children can be extremely detrimental, affecting physical and mental health.
The United States is capable of providing ample supplies of food to anyone in this country who is hungry. The key is finding those who are in need.
The same is true in Cullman County. This is a generous community with tremendous compassion for those who are suffering through difficult times. This caring spirit shows always shines brightly.
Involvement in the Cares & Shares food drive is a rewarding experience. Community organizations, businesses, schools, individuals and church congregations have been a vital force in this effort.
The Times will accept donations of non-perishable food (canned, packaged) or cash donations at our office, 300 Fourth Ave., SE in downtown, through Nov. 17. In addition to food donations, every dollar buys about seven pounds of food, and monetary donations allows Cullman Caring for Kids to carefully select the items needed for families.
We invite you to join us in one of our community’s annual holiday traditions of giving – Cares & Shares. It’s takes little to participate and the rewards of helping your neighbors in need during the season of giving will be great.