ASHLAND — River Cities Harvest is preparing to host its first cooperative food drive from May 14 through 28.
"This is the first time we've ever had a food drive with all our agencies working together," said Julia Vice, vista at River Cities Harvest.
This food drive will benefit all 27 River Cities Harvest agencies, including Ashland Community Kitchen, Helping Hands of Greenup, Safe Harbor and the Salvation Army, just to name a few. Vice said she hopes the cooperative food drive will be an annual event.
"We want people to know that what they donate will stay in their county and help people there," Vice said. "If someone donates to Greenup County, the food will stay there and help the people there."
Nonperishable foods will be accepted in the food drive, but Vice said donations of jars of peanut butter and canned fruit always seems to be lacking, so those items will be especially appreciated.
Last year 57 food drives benefited River Cities Harvest, but the nonprofit organization was just the beneficiary of these events, not the organizer. These food drives brought in about 15,000 pounds of food, which was about 5 percent of the total food distributed by the organization last year, Vice said.
"Holidays are peak time for us. In the spring people don't think about donating as much, but we need it year-round," Vice said. "If people donate one can of food, that's one can of food we didn't have before, and it's going to help somebody."
Vice said plans to promote the food drive include passing out fliers, setting up collection barrels at the food drop-off locations and advertising on the organization's website and Facebook page.
Donations can be made directly at the agencies or at other drop-off locations, which include all local Kentucky Farmers Banks, all local Community Trust Banks, Kroger stores in Ashland and Russell and Foodfair stores in South Ashland, Flatwoods and Greenup County.
SHANNON MILLER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2657.