CLINE: Keep local food banks in mind

We’re about a month out from Thanksgiving when the columns on this page might reflect some sort of feeling of thanks and articles in the paper will begin talking about the need to help the less fortunate as the holidays arrive.

But we all know that the need for that help — and the sense of thanks that many of us feel, which helps motivate a desire to provide help — isn’t confined to any one season. Lately I’ve seen multiple reminders, including bins here at the Daily Post set up for employees to donate canned food for the Gwinnett CAN Challenge sponsored by Holtkamp Heating and Air. This week we also received an email saying Gwinnett County Animal Welfare & Enforcement Services is yet another entity joining the challenge, giving out vouchers in return for food donations.

According to a press release, those visiting the shelter from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 will receive a $10 voucher good for shelter fees for adoptions, reclaims or rescues when they donate five or more cans of food. The vouchers are good for 30 days, and can be had by checking with the front office prior to placing your donation in the collection bin. It’s a win-win situation, a chance to help animals in addition to helping feed the hungry.

This is just one of many promotions you’ll hear about around Gwinnett, as various businesses and groups pitch in to help local food banks. A thumbs up goes to Holtkamp for spearheading this drive. The company’s website said its mission is twofold — to raise both food for struggling families and awareness for the need to continue to do so, especially outside of the holiday season when there is a heavier focus to help.

If you don’t have a Gwinnett CAN bin at your place of business like the ones here at the Daily Post, you can contact Holtkamp at 770-271-7511 to learn how to join the challenge or you can make a donation at the Holtkamp offices, located at 450 Satellite Blvd. in Suwanee.

Among the most critically needed items are:

Canned products: meats, soups, vegetables, fruits

Protein: peanut butter, dry beans, tuna fish

Dry foods: pasta, rice, cereal

Paper products: toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, diapers

Hygiene products: soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant

Cleaning supplies: detergent, laundry soap, new cleaning cloths

To date, the CAN Challenge has donated three tons of food toward a goal of 10 tons. But whether it’s through this initiative or through your church group or other civic organization, let this serve as a reminder that the gift of these donations shouldn’t be limited to the holidays.

Email Todd Cline at todd.cline@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Wednesdays.