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Trick or Treat food drive hopes to fill RHM pantry

Rowan Helping Ministries hopes its upcoming Trick or Treat food drive will offset a decrease in food donations caused by bad weather at the Rowan County Fair.

The food drive held each year at the fair is usually the second largest of the year for Rowan Helping Ministries. But constant rain and stormy weather kept large crowds away from the fair this year, resulting in fewer donations to the agency’s food drive there, said Kyna Grubb, executive director of Rowan Helping Ministries.

“We collected just 965 pounds of food this year at the fair compared to 6,281 pounds last year,” Grubb said. “Bad weather and the resulting low attendance really had an impact.”

The agency is depending on its Trick or Treat So Others May Eat food drive, which kicked off last weekend, to help generate enough food to serve those in need through the holidays, Grubb said.

More than 300 youth have been canvassing area neighborhoods to drop off collection bags for the Trick or Treat food drive. Church youth groups, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops and other youth groups will pick up filled bags this week and weekend and deliver them to Rowan Helping Ministries on Sunday. Pick-up dates were included in the event information stapled to the collection bags.

Rowan Helping Ministries’ Food Pantry distributes about 1,375 pounds of food each day to an average of 55 families. The number of clients asking for food during the holidays is even greater.

Last year’s Trick or Treat event generated 16,000 pounds of donated food.

“We want to reiterate that a lot of clients seeking help from Rowan Helping Ministries are those who work but are struggling to provide for their families,” Grubb said. “Especially in cold weather, they are having to make tough choices about which bills to pay and how to afford groceries.”

A record-setting 40 youth organizations have signed up to participate in the food drive. On Sunday, youth groups will gather at Rowan Helping Ministries’ Robertson-Stanback Center to weigh the food collected and enjoy pizza and drinks. The team that turns in the most food will be presented “The Heavy Weight Champions” award, which was won last year by the youth at Nazareth Community Church.

For more information about the event and how you can participate or donate food, call Rowan Helping Ministries at 704-637-6838.

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