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Picayune-KBEY Food Drive Nov. 9

The Picayune-KBEY Food Drive

The KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune and The Picayune Magazine Food Drive is Nov. 9 at two locations: the Marble Falls Fire Rescue station at 700 Avenue N (pictured) and the Burnet Fire Station at 202 S. Water Street (U.S. 281). File photo

Now in its 11th year, the annual food drive hosted by KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune and The Picayune Magazine is needed more than ever, according to local food pantry operators.

“We’ve really got to hit a home run this year,” Sam Pearce, executive director of The Helping Center of Marble Falls, told The Picayune Magazine. “We are all hurting.” 

This year’s food drive is from 6 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9. Donations of food and money can be dropped off at one of two locations, where KBEY Operations Manager Ben Shields and morning show host Mac McClennahan will continue the traditional competition between Marble Falls and Burnet for which site collects the most. 

Shields will be at the Marble Falls Fire Rescue station, 700 Avenue N, while McClennahan will be in front of the Burnet Fire Station, 2002 S. Water St. (U.S. 281 South).

Food donated at the Marble Falls location goes to The Helping Center, which serves south Burnet County. Donations in Burnet will be delivered to Lakes Area Care Inc., or LACare, which serves north Burnet County. 

“Listeners and readers step up every year and help their community,” Shields said. “At 6 a.m., the trailer is empty and the money bag has nothing in it yet. By the time 3 p.m. rolls around, the trailer and the money bag are full of donations as a result of the generosity from our listeners and readers.”

Intentionally held in early November each year, the drive helps feed residents in need during the holidays when food resources dwindle due to school breaks. With one week off for Thanksgiving and another two weeks off for Christmas and New Year’s, families often struggle to feed their children in the absence of free breakfast and lunches provided by schools.

This year has been especially hard as local pantries struggle to stock their shelves due to supply chain issues and increased food prices. Especially needed are canned goods, juices, milk, and traditional holiday foods. Other hard-to-get items include protein-based foods like canned meats, chili, beans, and peanut butter. 

Local food pantries depend on the Picayune-KBEY Food Drive to provide much of the traditional holiday foods for families in need because those items are not available from the regional food banks. 

“I believe people want to help but may not know how or when or where to go,” said Publisher Mandi Goldsmith when asked why Victory Media Marketing has been holding the drive for so many years. “The food drive establishes a specific date, time, and place to donate.”

Last year alone, the drive delivered about 5,000 pounds of food and raised over $10,000 for area pantries. 

“I am never surprised by the generosity shown by people in the Highland Lakes during the Picayune-KBEY Food Drive, but I am always inspired,” Goldsmith said.

Donations may be made year-round at The Helping Center, 1016 Broadway in Marble Falls, and LACare, 507 Buchanan Drive in Burnet.