United Way of Oxford & Lafayette County hosting food drive June 21

Published 6:00 am Sunday, June 12, 2016

United Way of Oxford & Lafayette County is rallying volunteers from throughout the community to combat hunger.

On Tuesday, June 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., residents are encouraged to participate in Day of Action, an annual event that mobilizes the caring power of volunteers to make a meaningful impact in more than 300 communities around the world.

United Way of Oxford & Lafayette County will do its part by holding a food drive to benefit The Pantry in front of Kroger. Non-perishable food items such as canned vegetables and fruits, peanut butter, rice and others are preferred, but any donation is welcomed.

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Volunteers of all ages are invited to come together to create positive change for themselves, their families and their communities.

Last year, more than 385 United Ways in 49 states and 21 countries mobilized volunteers in their communities on Day of Action.

Those interested in volunteering locally for at least an hour and a half of their time on June 21st to help collect food in front of Kroger can contact Kathy Williams or Liam Clements at 662-236-4265. Volunteers can also sign up on VolunteerOxford.org by searching for United Way of Oxford & Lafayette County.

Williams, who joined the United Way of Oxford & Lafayette County team as the new associate director in March, is excited to take part in her first Day of Action.

“We hope that you will join us in the fight to end hunger in Oxford and Lafayette County,” Williams said. “Volunteers will be in front of Kroger collecting food for those in need. Stop by our table, grab a list of needed food, add it to your cart and drop it at our table on the way out. It’s such an easy way to restock The Pantry. Let’s make a difference -because no one in our community should go hungry!”

While each United Way participating in Day of Action creates meaningful activities centered on specific challenges, this year’s national focus is on nutrition, particularly that of children in need.

For some kids from low-wage families, summer often means the loss of regular breakfasts and lunches. According to a 2012 report from the Food Research and Action Center, six out of seven low-income kids who eat a free or reduced-price school lunch during the academic year do not get a free meal during the summer.

According to a 2015 study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 21 percent of Lafayette County residents experience food insecurity regularly.

“Shopping at Kroger and donating non-perishable food items on June 21 will help ensure that The Pantry is sufficiently stocked to help alleviate the food insecurities faced by Lafayette County’s needy families and their children,” Williams said.