TalTran initiates food drive

TalTran is trying to collect 2,000 pounds of canned goods for its fourth annual “Stuff the Bus” drive for Second Harvest Food Bank.

The event takes on more importance this year because of several events that have affected the Tallahassee community in recent months.

“Because of all the hurricanes Florida has suffered from this year, it is more important for the food drives to go well,” said Julie Blackley, director of communications for Second Harvest Food Bank of the Big Bend. “We need to collect more food to balance out the need for the upcoming holiday.”

Due to the losses suffered by the hurricanes, and the rising need for assistance in the Tallahassee community, the usual goal of 1,500 pounds of donated goods was raised to meet the community need, said Dexter Martin, a TalTran marketing specialist.The items collected will be distributed to service centers for the homeless throughout the counties that make up Florida’s Big Bend area.

“The food will be sorted into groups as far as what type of food it is and 330 agencies will be able to order what food they would like to provide to the homeless in their area,” Blackley said.

Although the event was held Wednesday for the community to donate goods, the employees of TalTran began making contributions far in advance.

“We began the drive last week with our employees contributing 200 pounds of canned food and the Tallahassee community providing goods at the drop-off sites,” Martin said.

Martin said barrels have been in the lobbies of the Leon County Federal Credit Union and the Florida A&M University Credit Union, two of the co-sponsors for the event, for a week and would be removed Thursday.

Other co-sponsors are the City of Tallahassee and Cumulus Broadcasting.

“We decided to help sponsor the event because this time of the year is a sad occasion for struggling parents,” said Joe Bullard, program director for 96.1 Jamz.

“TalTran and Second Harvest Food Bank needed a media outlet to get their information to the Tallahassee community, which is why we felt the need to contribute our service to the event,” said Victor Duncan, assistant program director for 96.1 . “Some people are just a paycheck away from homelessness. If someone has an opportunity to help those who are less fortunate, they should take advantage because they could be in that same situation themselves.”

Contact Teesa Johnson at famuannews@hotmail.com.