LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Monday morning kicks off the start of the 32nd annual U Can Share Food Drive to benefit the South Plains Food Bank.
This community-wide effort began as a service project at KCBD NewsChannel11 and has spread to feed thousands of people across the South Plains.
Each year, schools, churches and community members contribute food and funds for the largest food drive on the South Plains.
With more families in need than ever before, the SPFB has an even bigger goal set for 2014.
"We are trying to raise 300,000 pounds of food," said Melissa Henderson, SPFB director of development, "and we need your help."
That amount of food would weigh the same as an average blue whale, with every bit of it going to help needy families.
"Hunger, it can affect your neighbor, it can affect the people you go to church with, your son, your daughter, schoolmates, yeah…hunger can strike anywhere," Henderson said. "Our theme this year is Neighbors Feeding Neighbors, so we're inviting the Lubbock community to come out and feed your neighbors."
The U Can Share Food Drive is working to fight this hunger, especially during these cold holiday months.
"The South Plains Food Bank touches one in eight people in the South Plains," said SPFB CEO David Weaver. "Last year, we served over 57,000 people. I think what's different about that is that we're seeing we're serving these people more frequently, so it's taking a little bit more food and the economy is still rough for some of the clients that we serve, and they're having a hard time getting back on their feet."
Weaver encourages donors to turn giving into a family tradition.
"As a family, talk to your kids about hunger and take them to the grocery store. Have them pick out the canned goods and put them in the basket to donate," Henderson said. "It would be very powerful."
The U Can Share Food Drive also accepts monetary donations. They have set a goal to collect $125,000 and provide meals across 20 counties in the South Plains.
"We did reach our goal last year; only because the Lubbock community and our big supporters stepped up and helped us reach that goal," Henderson said. "We're going to be asking the same thing this year, so we'd really appreciate your support here in Lubbock as well as our friends in the surrounding communities."
KCBD will go live from these neighborhoods this week at the U Can Share Food Drive:
Monday, Dec. 1 - United at 50th & Indiana
Tuesday, Dec. 2 - Amigos on North University
Wednesday, Dec. 3 - United at Parkway
Thursday, Dec. 4 - Market Street at 19th & Quaker
Friday, Dec. 5 - United at 82nd & Frankford
Saturday, Dec. 6 - United at 82nd and Frankford
The more food and funds brought to these locations, the more Christmas boxes the SPFB can make for the holidays.
Donations are accepted at any area United Supermarkets location or can be submitted by texting "neighbor" to 41444.
For more information, visit http://www.spfb.org/u-can-share-2014/.
Click here to bid in the U Can Share Food Drive Auction.