Meadville Tribune

Local News

November 12, 2012

Drop by Tribune on Wednesday with food, donations

MEADVILLE — Is a record-setting mountain of help-your-neighbor food destined for The Meadville Tribune’s parking lot this week?

Wednesday — rain or shine — volunteers will be on duty from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Tribune’s Arch Street parking lot, collecting non-perishible food items, frozen Thanksgiving turkeys and monetary donations for the ninth annual Drive-Thru Holiday Food Drive to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania.

The parking lot is entered between Park Avenue and South Main Street.

This year, the Drive-Thru team has its eye on redemption. After a record-shattering year in 2010 — 9,685 pounds of food and $6,970.32 in cash — donations were down a bit in 2011, totaling a still-not-shabby 6,678 pounds of food, $5,986 in cash and checks and a grand total of 76 turkeys.

“I’m looking forward to breaking 2010’s record as far as turkeys, cash and canned goods,” said the Tribune’s own Pete Mierke, now in his fourth year as one of the event’s local coordinators. “The weather looks like it’s going to be in our favor,” he added optimistically.

With Second Harvest’s ability to buy food in bulk through a network of discount suppliers, including the federal government, each $1 collected has a total of $17 in purchasing power. Organizers stress that the food collected locally stays local.

A carefully coordinated volunteer effort makes contributing to the cause as easy as driving through — and local businesses make sure that the volunteers — including whole crews of Allegheny College students — are well cared for. The nearby Vocelli Pizza, for example, furnishes lots of lunch, Valesky’s keeps everyone supplied with apples and water, and KFC provides large containers of hot coffee. The scales used to weigh the offerings are hauled in by Meadville Farm & Garden and COOL 101.7 radio will be on hand throughout the day.

 “I’ve never failed to be impressed with how the community comes together,” Mierke said.

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