Local 'Summer Harvest' Food Drive Ends Today
By Bill Hughes
PADUCAH, KY - A local insurance and investment firm is partnering with a social media consultant to sponsor their second annual food drive for charity.

HollandStivers Associates, LLC, is partnering again with Socially Present for the "Summer Harvest" food drive on June 13 to benefit Paducah Cooperative Ministry. Just like last year, they are encouraging businesses to have their own collection of non-perishable foods this week, and then bring them to Holland Stivers today. Everything will then be delivered to PCM.

Wendy Cooper of HollandStivers said last year's idea originally included clients and businesses they had relationships with, but after posting it on their business website and their personal Facebook pages, it quickly grew, and they ended up donating over 8,000 items to the food pantry.

Cooper said she and her colleagues didn't realize how much food pantries help families during the summer until she spoke with PCM Director Heidi Suhrheinrich last year, but then she thought about her own situation.

Cooper said, "I don't know why it doesn't set in with people, because as a mother, I know my grocery bill goes through the roof in the summer when my kids are at home!"

Families have the burden of providing all three daily meals to their kids, instead of the school feeding them lunch, and possibly breakfast, too.

PCM provided some data to HollandStivers, showing that 564 households were helped by the food pantry each month in the first quarter of 2014, and that's up from 413 last year.

Heidi Suhrheinrich, Director of PCM, backed up the data with a statement, saying assistance is crucial this time of year.

“By summer time, when the kids are getting out of school for vacation, we like to have pantry shelves full and ready for what is usually a time of increased need. At the rate we are going, we could be seeing some really empty shelves by that time. Your efforts on behalf of this food assistance program couldn’t be more important.”

Cooper said if you're not part of one of the businesses participating, don't let that stop you.

"We've reached out to businesses, but don't let that deter anyone, as far as individuals or otherwise, that hear this or want to help out. You can come by HollandStivers on Olivet Church Road. We'll be in the parking lot all day," Cooper said.

She said Paducah Bank is bringing their ice cream truck for part of the day, so you may get a treat as a way of saying thanks. They will also have some special activities during lunch hour.

HollandStivers is at 2660 Olivet Church Road, between Hinkleville Road and Friendship Road.

Any businesses that would like to participate by holding their own internal food drive on June 25-27 should contact Cooper at . She can be reached by telephone at 270-554-5535.

Published 11:15 AM, Friday Jun. 13, 2014
Updated 11:35 AM, Friday Jun. 13, 2014

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