A downside of the success Marion County Resource Center and Food Bank has had is that demand outstrips supply.
“We run out of food,” board member Linda Ogden said. “You get there at 8:30 on a Monday morning, and the shelves look pretty good, and by noon, they’re depleted. Thursday is even worse.”
It’s not that the center is giving away too much food to anyone, board member Jackie Volbrecht said. There are just more people accessing the center with its new location and hours.
“We have never given anyone enough to meet nutritional guidelines, but it helps,” Volbrecht said.
To keep the shelves stocked, the two women came up with a plan for a campaign to collect food and raise awareness, which will take place the last two weeks of September.
“It’s kind of like the perfect storm when the two of us get together, because we don’t see the impossible, ever,” Volbrecht said.
Bright red trash cans with the center’s logo will be placed at Marion-area locations from Friday through Sept. 25. Nonperishable food, paper products, toiletries, and cleaning supplies will be accepted.
The unique feature of the campaign will be an attempt to enlist the help of Marion High School reunion classes attending Old Settlers Day.
Ogden and Volbrecht want classes to compete to see who can donate the most to the food bank, through both tangible donations and cash.
“We’ll have a special prize for the winning class, maybe something like a golden can,” Volbrecht said.
Classes can drop donations at the center Sept. 25 between 4 and 5 p.m. On Old Settlers Day, Sept. 26, Ogden and Volbrecht are cooking up a number of ideas to build competition and donations, including opportunities to make donations at Central Park following the parade.
The food drive will culminate that afternoon with an open house at the resource center, 1220 E. Main St.