Nov 22, 2013

Drive helping a lot of families

GREENVILLE – The 2013 Darke County Community Christmas Drive is under way and all those making donations can be assured that the money given truly makes a difference in people’s lives. While food vouchers will not be given out this year, the money collected will be of tremendous help in supporting the benevolent work of the local food banks in Castine, Ansonia and Arcanum in addition to the ministries of FISH, the Grace Resurrection Community Center and Community Unity.

The Castine Area Food Bank has had 165 calls in 2013 as of Oct. 17, which at nearly 18 per month is slightly higher than their past averages. They have helped 94 households containing 127 people. A number of churches in the Castine area support the good work of the food bank, which is expecting to help at least 127 families with Thanksgiving Dinners. The Ansonia United Methodist Church Food Bank has helped many families over the years including 71 families with a total of 180 people this year as of September. This ministry has bagged up 233 bags of groceries for people in addition to giving out $1,420 in food vouchers with the help of the Community Christmas Drive. In Arcanum, the Faith United Methodist Church Food Pantry, which has been helping people since May 2007, has provided food and cleaning supplies to 600 individuals so far in 2013. They anticipate assisting a total of around 1,000 by the end of the year. During the holidays, they also help by providing food baskets and children’s Christmas gifts. They also supply food vouchers to those in need as they work in cooperation with Sutton’s Super Value in Arcanum.

In Greenville, the FISH food ministry has been busy over the past year. From October 2012 to September of this year, they have served 2,890 households containing 8,875 individuals with 286 of those being new households. They have also made 282 home deliveries during that time. In the past 10 months, the Food Pantry operated by the Grace Resurrection Community Center has helped a monthly average of 427 households and an average of 1,334 individuals. The GRCC Soup Kitchen has served over 10,000 meals during that time and the Clothing Bank has assisted over 300 households on average each month. Individuals may use the Food Pantry and the Clothing Bank two times per month. Community Unity, which is a separate organization from GRCC, assists the local needy with financial help for utilities, rent, medical needs and emergency transportation. In 2012, $21,102 went out to help 708 individuals in 356 households and so far in 2013 $20,022 has helped 784 people in 351 households.

The Community Christmas Drive will be collecting funds at 11 different locations throughout Darke County on the Fridays and Saturdays until Christmas. Donations can also be sent to the Darke County Community Christmas Drive at P.O. Box 1091, Greenville, Ohio 45331. Questions may be directed to Reverend Joseph Soley at 547-0533.

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