Cullman High School students, left to right, are Student Government Association seniors Blake Spradlin, Mary Kate Stanford, Morgan Bowman, Gracie Apel and Lauren Skinner, a junior. The students presented a check for more than $3,500 to The Cullman Times on Friday for the food bank at Cullman Caring for Kids.

Generous contributions through The Cullman Times Cares & Shares food drive will ensure hundreds of local families will meals in the months ahead.

Capped by Cullman High School students’ donation of more than $3,500, which will purchase 24,500 pounds of food, Cares & Shares has again delivered much needed support to the food bank of Cullman Caring for Kids.

As the food drive closed at 5 p.m. Friday, almost $6000 in monetary donations had come in, but donations are still welcome to Cullman Caring for Kids during the holiday season, or through The Times.

“Our partnership with The Cullman Times has long been a blessing for the families in Cullman County that need support during difficult financial periods in their lives. This community always comes through with the commitment of neighbors helping neighbors,” said Cullman Caring for Kids Director Javon Daniel.

The food bank provides groceries and essentials such as diapers from 600-650 families per month. The families are screened for their needs and allowed to shop for food at Cullman Caring for Kids to ensure they have nutritious meals.

Cullman High School students have taken a leadership role in the food drive, giving thousands of dollars each year. Many students also volunteer their time at the food bank. East Elementary and West Elementary School students have also participated with large canned food drives to help the food bank throughout the decade-long campaign.

“The role that the students play in the food drive is tremendous,” Daniel said. “To see them work so hard to make this successful is rewarding. You can’t say enough about their kindness and character and care for our community.”

The final day of the food drive also saw an anonymous donation of $1,000 from a local resident. A few days before that, Cornerstone Church of Nazarene gave $500. Other donations came from individuals, as well as a variety of non-perishable food items.

“Even with a good economy in Cullman County, the need has not let up. It’s actually grown in recent years. Before lunch today, 50 or more families were here for food,” Daniel said.

Cullman Caring for Kids is a non-profit agency. In addition to operating the food bank, the organization works throughout the year to educate the community about child abuse, how to know the signs, and how to intervene.

The food bank will be open Monday and Tuesday, before Thanksgiving, and re-open Nov. 26. The food bank services are for families in Cullman County.

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David Palmer has decades of experience in the newspaper industry. He currently serves as editor of The Cullman Times.

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