If we may, we’d like to turn your attention to the brown paper bag inserted into today’s newspaper.
It’s there to remind you that Saturday is the 26th annual Care & Share Day, the primary fundraiser and food collection program for the Indiana County Community Action Program’s food bank. And once again, ICCAP and The Indiana Gazette are hoping to rely on the kindness of our readers.
So, please, take the bag and fill it with canned goods and nonperishable items. Or make a monetary donation to the food bank. On Saturday, you can return the bags to a number of local businesses.
The goal this year is to raise $25,000 in donations and collect 25 tons of goods.
Michelle Faught, ICAAP’s executive director, acknowledged that the goal is ambitious, but the need in the county is great.
She said a recent study showed that roughly 13.5 percent of the county’s population — more than 12,000 people — qualify for assistance through the food bank. It currently serves around 5,000 people.
Faught also said the goal isn’t unrealistic; it’s the same as last year, when ICCAP celebrated Care & Share Day’s 25th year. And thanks to the generosity of Indiana County residents, ICCAP was able to hit the mark.
ICCAP and the Gazette are hoping to repeat the performance.
“The Gazette is committed to doing whatever we can to help feed those in need in Indiana County. We are glad that efforts like Care & Share bring measurable relief to those that need help,” said Michael J. Donnelly, president of the Indiana Printing & Publishing Co. and publisher of the Gazette.
Food donations go directly to the people in need of some help. And cash helps ensure that ICCAP is able to continue to provide it.
Faught said donations will help as the food bank looks to roll out a new supplementary food program next year. Through that program, called Produce to People, ICCAP and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, would distribute up to 50 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables once a month.
Details are still being hashed out, but in the meantime, Faught has asked that the public keep the organization in mind on Saturday.
“We just hope that everybody will get behind us and support us,” she said.