Ruritan food drive a success

Published 7:37 pm Monday, September 13, 2010

Members of Suffolk’s Ruritan clubs came together during the weekend to prove they’re worth their weight — in canned goods.

Several area clubs and the Suffolk Family YMCA participated in the statewide AARP and Ruritan community food drive on Saturday and raised nearly 1,000 pounds of canned goods to help restock Virginia’s bare food pantries.

“The drive went well,” said Sloan Butler, president of the Liberty Spring Ruritan Club. “We had a lot of help from other Ruritan clubs and churches. It’s another good service our clubs can help facilitate to help out our community.”

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As more families struggle to make ends meet, Virginia’s food banks need help feeding hungry people. Virginia food banks and their partner agencies are experiencing daily increases in demand for assistance due to rising unemployment, higher food prices and a slow economy, according to the AARP.

“We had everything you could think of,” said Duane Eby, Liberty Spring Ruritan member. “One man brought in cases of corn and green beans. There was everything from nice canned chicken breasts to lots of pastas, spaghetti sauces and cereals.”

Liberty Spring Ruritan Club collected 319 pounds between Saturday’s drive and donations by church members on Sunday. Holland Baptist and Holy Neck Ruritan clubs raised a combined total of 310 pounds. Whaleyville and Cypress Chapel Ruritan clubs collected another 10 pounds combined. Additional clubs and volunteers from the Suffolk Family YMCA collected 294 pounds.

More donations are expected from the Suffolk Family YMCA, and a final food drive will be held at the Magnolia Club on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. during their Boston butt sale at 1029 Nansemond Parkway.

To help the food bank, fill a bag with the non-perishable foods that it needs most. Those items include peanut butter, chunky soups, canned meats, canned tuna, canned vegetables, crackers, hot and cold cereal, pasta, rice and canned fruit. Avoid glass containers, though.

All proceeds are going to individual church and community food banks.

“As a community, we want to help feed the hungry, one can at a time,” said Carol Warren, a Holland Ruritan Club member who helped organize the club’s drive.