• 63°

River Cities Harvest seeks volunteers, supporters

ASHLAND, Ky. - A local food bank that serves thousands of hungry residents is looking for volunteers and businesses that want to help in their efforts.

Rivers Cities Harvest, based in Ashland, collects surplus perishable food and delivers it to churches, food pan-tries and soup kitchens that feed the hungry in the community. There are also several large canned food drives throughout the year.

In 2006, the group distributed 280,000 pounds of food, much of which would have otherwise gone to waste. Food was distributed to many sites, including the Ironton City Welfare Mission.

Amanda Gilmore, operations coordinator for the organization, said volunteers are needed for daily pick-ups at local restaurants and businesses. Pick-ups take about an hour or an hour-and-a-half, she explained, and can be completed before work hours in the morning.

Volunteers are also needed to work during large shipments and canned drives, Gilmore said.

Started in 1991 by Ashland Oil workers, River Cities Harvest has seen a marked increase for volunteers over the years. Many of the existing volunteers are getting older, Gilmore said, or do not have as much time to give as they used to.

Gilmore said River Cities Harvest is also hoping to recruit more businesses that are willing to donate perishable foods they can no longer use.

Businesses or individuals who want more information can call (606) 329-3045 and leave a message.