Thousands of people reached out to help meet the needs of the South Plains Food Bank at this year's U Can Share Food Drive, and even though the drive is in the can, that doesn't mean the giving is over. Donations collected will feed 8,000 families during this holiday season.
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"For December, this month we'll serve close to 9,000 families with the extra food that we'll be distributing as a result of the U Can Share Drive," explains David Weaver, Executive Director of the South Plains Food Bank.
Weaver says the week-long food drive brought in almost 530,000 pounds of food.
"We set a goal of 575,000 pounds, and we're still a little short of that, although I think once we get everything picked up we'll be pretty close to that goal," he estimates.
Food collected will support families through the spring. The effort also raised about $90,000 -- all gifts from the community.
"Now, the money, we set a goal of $125,000. We'll still be getting some donations in this week. I don't know if we'll make that, but we're real grateful for what ever we get," says Weaver.
Aside from donations, he says the drive ignited many special moments.
"It's so exciting to be out there at the newscast when all the kids come out with their totals and you see everybody that's done everything, and they're so proud of what they've done," he recounts.
But the effort doesn't stop here, volunteers work year-round to serve 20,000 people in the area.
"It really warms your heart that food is so important to the people we serve and the money that comes in helps us reach out into our community, and it's hard to express to people how grateful we are for the gift that they made to us," says Weaver.
Volunteers are needed to help stuff and distribute food boxes beginning December 17th. If you'd like to volunteer, you can call the food bank at (806) 763-3003.