The Food Bank at Area Churches Together Serving (ACTS) is in good shape this holiday season, thanks in part to recent donations from local schools' Can-A-Thons.
During a two-week drive at Oconee County Schools, 31,501 items were collected. Additionally $2,715 was raised between the two high schools. The money will be used to purchase rice, spaghetti, flour, corn meal, grits, oil, toilet paper, soap and other necessities.
ACTS Chairman Reiny Hiss estimates another 4,000 cans were collected recently by Prince Avenue Christian School.
Clothing donations have also been "phenomenal," according to Hiss. In the last month, three individuals reported they found work and are thankful that ACTS provided business attire for them to wear to job interviews, he said.
The need remains great.
"We're having the most people we've ever had - record numbers of people," he said.
On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, 106 families were served. The week before Christmas Hiss anticipates over 10,000 cans will be distributed to 150 families.
Around 600 families visit the food bank at least six times each year, he explained. Of that number, 40-50 are seniors who can no longer make it on fixed incomes. The distribution center is open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
What has been collected should be enough to supply the Food Bank throughout the first quarter of 2013, Hiss said.
"I think we're going to be in real good shape financially and everything else that will carry us well into the new year," he reported. "But by April we'll be looking for other sources."