IUP students in the department of food and nutrition’s community nutrition class are organizing the 19th annual food drive to benefit the Indiana County Community Action Program’s food pantries.
The theme for this year’s drive is “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.”
According to Rita Johnson, IUP food and nutrition professor, the demand for food through ICCAP has grown in the past year and the program now assists more than 4,000 people monthly. More than half of the people benefiting from the food pantries are children and older adults.
Items in demand for the food pantries are cereal, pasta, rice, canned fruit and vegetables, spaghetti sauce, macaroni and cheese, and peanut butter and jelly.
Last year the IUP students collected 900 pounds of food and more than $3,600 in monetary donations.
ICCAP uses cash contributions to purchase food from Feeding America, a national food bank.
ICCAP can buy one pound of food for approximately 10 cents and can buy fresh produce for about 3 cents per pound.
This year’s food drive will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 4. Collection locations will be Valeski’s Fourth Street Bi-Lo, WalMart, Giant Eagle and Big Lots in White Township; Merck’s Bi-Lo, Homer City; Tate’s Supermarket, Clymer; and Shop ’n Save, Saltsburg.
For the first time this year the Indiana University of Pennsylvania students will also be accepting donations at the McDonald’s restaurants in Indiana, White Township and Blairsville.