Food drive at Marble Falls game Oct. 28 aids Helping Center

Sam Pearce, executive director of The Helping Center, surveys the facility’s shelves. He hopes a canned food drive organized by the Marble Falls High School Interact Club will restock them for the holidays. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Sam Pearce, executive director of The Helping Center, surveys the facility’s shelves. He hopes a canned food drive organized by the Marble Falls High School Interact Club will restock them for the holidays. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER

MARBLE FALLS — A year ago, the Interact Club at Marble Falls High School organized a canned food drive

for The Helping Center of Marble Falls at one of the Mustangs football games.

But it rained, keeping many fans away.

That didn’t dampen the club’s goal of obtaining hundreds of pounds of canned goods for The Helping Center this year.

Fans are asked to bring non-perishable food items to the Marble Falls football team’s last home game Oct. 28 when the Mustangs welcome Lockhart. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Mustang Stadium, 2101 Mustang Drive.

Sam Pearce, The Helping Center’s executive director, gives all the credit to the student-members of the club.

“They do all the work,” he said. “They’re going to collect all the food.”

Pearce said the center always needs everyday items, such as pasta, sauce, peanut butter, and other similar foods. But with the holidays quickly approaching, the time has come to collect food for traditional holiday meals. So organizers are asking fans to bring cans of vegetables and condensed milk, boxes of dressing, and other items that go into making holiday side dishes.

Pearce noted that the food pantry’s shelves get barer each day with the number of families and individuals in need in the community. Last month, the facility helped 450 people, and he believes that number will jump by 100 during November and December.

And since no family is turned away, Pearce also purchases what the center needs using monetary donations. But that raises another concern.

All area food pantries shop at the Central Texas Food Bank, where they get a 20 percent discount on items. CTFB staff members send out a list of available items to the pantries, and Pearce buys what’s available according to what is needed at The Helping Center. The catch, however, is the CTFB hasn’t had enough of the items needed at The Helping Center. So Pearce must purchase them from area supermarkets paying full price.

That takes away money from the center that would be used to purchase meat. During the holidays, the center will give families a choice of a turkey or a ham.

So canned and cash donations make a huge difference, Pearce said.

“It’s more money we can spend on turkeys and hams,” he said.

Interact members will be at the home and visitors gates collecting canned goods and monetary donations. And Pearce couldn’t thank them enough.

“They took the bull by the horns,” he said. “We’re hoping to make this an annual tradition.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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