ALEXANDRIA, LA – The Food Bank of Central Louisiana and Suddenlink will kick off Suddenlink’s 7th annual “Connecting to Those in Need” fall food drive Oct. 7.
Last year the “Connecting to Those in Need” campaign collected more than 68,000 pounds of food and monetary equivalent. The program goal this year is to collect 80,000 pounds of non-perishable food items that will be donated to the Food Bank of Central Louisiana, and, through it, to its more than 93 member agencies.
“Hunger is a symptom of poverty and economic stress which can be relieved through the kindness and generosity of our community. Whether you have one can or a case of food to share, every donation is important. We are grateful to Suddenlink for recognizing this and helping lead the cause through this annual food drive,” said Jayne Wright-Velez, executive director of the Food Bank of Central Louisiana.
The Food Bank of Central Louisiana distributes more than 5.6 million pounds of donated grocery items annually through 93 member agencies in 11 parishes that provide food assistance to approximately 22,400 needy people in central Louisiana.
Suddenlink Community Ambassador Tony Cifelli said that the company’s efforts would be stepped up this year to meet the higher goal. Last year Suddenlink employees volunteered a total of 700 hours to support the food drive. Again this year, collection sites will be located at town halls in Pineville, Ball and Pollock, as well as the Suddenlink offices in Pineville, Leesville, Many, Natchitoches and Winnfield.
In addition, on Saturdays (Oct. 12, 19 and 26, and Nov. 2, 9 and 16) during the six-week drive Suddenlink staff will be stationed outside of Ball Foods in Ball, Ford’s Grocery Store in Colfax, all Mac’s Supermarket locations in Alexandria, Tioga, and Pineville, and all Super 1 locations in Alexandria and Pineville. (Specific locations are listed below.)
Donations also may be made to Suddenlink technicians as they make their rounds in central Louisiana.
“Every year we increase our fundraising goal as we see the need in our community grow. I’m proud we have met our goals, but I’m even more proud that we are able to help our neighbors in need,” said Cifelli. “Suddenlink employees have a great work ethic and bring that same ethic to helping others in our community.”
Anyone donating at least five non-perishable food items can register to win a 60-inch high-definition television set provided by Suddenlink. The drive will conclude Nov. 20, and a collection total will be announced and prize winner drawn on Nov. 21.
Area school districts in Allen, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, Sabine, Vernon and Winn are also invited to participate in “Connecting to Those in Need.” Suddenlink will present cash awards to schools collecting the most food. A first place prize of $500, second place prize of $250, and third place prize of $100 will be given to top schools in elementary, junior high and high school divisions.
Students donating five non-perishable food items can register to win prizes awarded in each of the elementary, junior high and high school divisions. The winning student in each division will receive an iPad2. Schools interested in participating in the food drive should contact The Food Bank at 318-445-2773.