Less than two weeks remain in the Fill the Media Lab food drive, and the totals collected so far are less than halfway to our goal.
Let's put that in perspective: Against a goal of 20,000 food items, The Mercury and Town Square bloggers have collected 7,228 food items. Against a goal of 1,000 bottles of laundry detergent, 427 have been donated.
Forget those goals for a moment, and picture the amount of food that has been given to local food pantries since this drive started four weeks ago.
More than 7,000 cans of vegetables, boxes of oatmeal, packs of macaroni and cheese ... pasta, sauce, vegetables, beef stew, hot chocolate packets, Pop-Tarts ... peanut butter, jelly, cheese and crackers, cookies, noodles, soup.
Donations have been brought to the front desk of The Mercury. Some people, with trunkloads of bags and boxes, have knocked on our back door, looking for help to unload. Others have dropped off food at the many business and school locations throughout the area. And still others have donated to schools and churches who have partnered with bloggers in the food drive.
There is no prize for making goal in this drive, but there is incredible, unspoken reward.
We began this food drive as a cooperative effort with the Town Square Community Media Lab network of bloggers featured on The Mercury website. By partnering with the bloggers, we have been able to broaden the reach and focus attention on the drive. Some of them have even launched or sponsored their own collection efforts that have netted hundreds of items for the drive.
This drive is already a success for the awareness it has brought to the need for food in our region. Many people, myself included, who never gave to food pantries have now made pledges to give food on a regular basis to help those in need.
My pledge: Buy $10 worth of items every week during my regular grocery shopping and donate it to an ongoing good drive -- Fill the Media Lab! -- or drop it off at a food pantry like the Cluster Outreach Center, Norco Food Pantry or Boyertown Area Multi-service.
We have 11 days remaining to collect more than 10,000 food items and more than 500 bottles of detergent. But the glass is already half full, and the food pantries and those who are hungry in the Pottstown area have already benefited.
The greatest benefit, we believe, is in the ongoing drive to raise awareness of the hunger in our community and the importance of donating food now and in a continuing effort for local pantries.
Eleven days are left to fill the lab, and we appreciate and welcome whatever you can give.
Map of dropoff sites:
Here is a curated list of all blog entries on the food drive.
Read news of the food drive at PottsTownSquare.