A local church is looking to the community to help feed the hungry in Jackson County.

From July 30 to Aug. 3, Seymour Christian Church is having its annual Raise Tons of Food drive. The project is part of the church’s vacation Bible school.

This marks the seventh year for the drive, which helps fill the shelves of Community Provisions food pantry and The Alley Kitchen, both located in Seymour.

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The food drive started after some of the women in the church, who volunteered at Community Provisions, brought it to Children’s Pastor Love Lockman’s attention that the pantry’s shelves were bare.

Summer is often a time when donations to food pantries are low.

“I was looking for a vacation Bible school mission project, so my goal was to raise a ton of food,” she said.

In the first year, the drive ended with 7 tons, and the amount has grown every year.

“Until then, I was really unaware of the need in our community,” Lockman said. “When I realized that one in four children go to bed hungry every night, it fueled our passion.”

Last year, the church donated 31 tons, and this year’s goal is to surpass that, said Love, who is the wife of Pastor Bill Lockman.

In total, the project has collected 118 tons of food.

It’s not just amazing, “that’s a miracle,” Love said.

“I have always felt people are willing to give. They just don’t know how, so that is what we try and do, make it easy for people,” she said.

Local businesses and groups can get involved by collecting and donating food or donating money, all of which will be used to purchase food, Lockman said.

Most needed items include pasta sauce and pasta, peanut butter and jelly, pancake mix and syrup, soup and crackers, cereal, salt and flour, pasta skillet dinners, macaroni and cheese, ketchup and mustard, rice and any large and small canned goods such as vegetables, fruits, beans, canned meats and potatoes.

Those wanting to get involved can bring donations to the church at 915 Kasting Road in Seymour or call 812-523-3335 to schedule a pickup.

At a glance

What: Seymour Christian Church’s annual Raise Tons of Food drive

When: July 30 through Aug. 3

Most needed items: pasta sauce, pasta, peanut butter, jelly, pancake mix, syrup, soups, crackers, cereal, salt, flour, pasta skillet dinners, macaroni and cheese, ketchup, mustard, rice, canned goods and any other nonperishable food items.

How to help: Bring items or financial donations to Seymour Christian Church at 915 Kasting Road or call 812-523-3335 for pickup. All food collected will fill the shelves at the Community Provisions food pantry and The Alley Kitchen.

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.