The food drive at Hancock’s was the best ever since Hancock’s and WKDZ started it many years ago, with more than $3,100 collected for Helping Hands’s Food Bank, said Ariagno.
“It’s the best drive we’ve ever had, Ariagno said. “It goes up every year, last year it was $2,700, the year before it was $1,700. I don’t know how or why it’s increasing, but it’s a wonderful thing that it does.”
The money raised at Hancock’s will buy perhaps a month’s worth of food items for the Food Bank, with most of that used to buy canned goods and other non-perishable items, she said.
However, it hasn’t all been spent, so the Food Bank is going to spend the $600 or $700 that is left to buy meat, likely ground beef or chicken, in order to give those who need the Food Bank some protein, Ariagno said. She added that it probably won’t take very long for that money to be spent.
Another food drive was headed by Matt Lindsey, a French teacher at Trigg County High School, and this is his second year holding a food drive. Ariagno said that last year they brought in 1,800 cans, and this year they brought in 2,900 cans.
“He makes it very interesting for the kids,” she said. “The class that brings in the most canned goods does not take a final test, so there’s really competition. It’s certainly a big help to us.”
Trigg County Hospital has a food drive, and Broadbent’s Food and Gifts also did, wherein people that brought in canned goods or made donation to Helping Hands got 25 percent off of their purchases at Broadbent’s this past Saturday and Sunday, said Ariagno.
“This community is just a giving community, and it’s really a caring community,” she said.
Helping Hands, and the Food Bank in particular, spends quite a bit of money, and last year they spent roughly $25,000 at the Food Bank, and they’ve likely spent that much this year already, Ariagno said, although she hasn’t done an exact count yet.
With that, they’ve been helping feed more than 170 families in the city and county, although that number varies from month to month, noted Ariagno, who said that the high number of families they’re helping is because of the high unemployment in the area.
Helping Hands also offers utilities assistance and buys gift cards for children that otherwise wouldn’t have any gifts for Christmas, and they also do Christmas baskets for about 30 families, she said.
Helping Hands gets the names of people who need such assistance from Pat King at Social Services.