BY CARL GREEN
Granite City, IL – A major community food drive, the third annual Food for Families, collected thousands of pounds of food for needy area families on April 21 in Madison County.
United Steel Workers locals and their SOAR retirees group accounted for 1,707 pounds of donations. Union workers at Schnucks from the United Food and Commercial Workers, Teamsters and Service Employees International accounted for another 2,247 pounds.
Overall food donations totaled 13,956 pounds. Cash donations of $2,900 were counted as $1 a pound, making a grand total of 16,900 pounds, topping last year’s total of about 15,000 pounds.
KIDS DID THE HEAVY LIFTING
Students from 20 schools throughout the county brought non-perishable food donations to their schools. The donations were then collected and organized at the Granite City Schnucks store with labor provided by the Granite City High School National Honor Society members.
The event was organized by the United Way of Greater St. Louis. Some of the top-producing schools were St. Peters and Paul, Alton, with 1,366 pounds; St. John Neumann, Maryville, 2,909 pounds; and Venice Elementary, 1,030 pounds.
The items were being distributed to Community Care Center, Granite City; Catholic Charities of Madison County; Crisis Food Center, Alton; the Venice Township Food Pantry; and the Highland Area Christian Service Ministry Food Pantry.
GOOD WILL, TOUGH TIMES
Organizer Terry Briggs, a United Way labor liaison, said the effort showed the good will of the region even during difficult economic times.
“It was a community effort,” he said. “The overall goal is to involve the students and let them give back to the community. We beat last year’s goal, and that’s the main thing.”
Sponsoring and participating companies included Andy’s Auto Body, Callis Papa & Szewczyk P.C., Dynamic Transit, First Bank, GCS Credit Union, Schnucks, Skinn Fitness and Bank of Edwardsville, plus the Greater Madison County Federation of Labor.