Stuff the Bus returns

The City of Tallahassee is partnering with America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend for its fourth-annual “Stuff the Bus” food drive.

Star Metro, the city’s transit system, kicked off the drive with a community event at C.K. Steele Plaza Thursday, which featured food and live music.  

The month-long food drive is part of the city’s effort to help residents who may not have enough to eat. People are encouraged to donate canned goods, rice, cereal and other non perishable items.

Stephanie Kilham, director of food resources for Second Harvest of the Big Bend area, said many families are in need of food.

“It’s an easy way for community members to give back and help ensure that families struggling with hunger have healthy and nutritious food,” Kilham said.

The city is also partnering with 40 locations to accept food donations across Tallahassee.

Lavonia Jones, communication specialist for the city of Tallahassee, said the city collected more than 40,000 canned goods during last year’s food drive.

Jones is encouraging residents to donate more food this year.

“When you're picking up a canned good, just grab another one, and that canned good will do tremendous work for someone else,” Jones said.

Sandra Manning, director of community relations for the city of Tallahassee, said people are more giving during the holidays.

Manning said Second Harvest typically sees a drop in donations during the beginning of the year.

“After the holidays, canned goods and non perishable items, go down at second harvest,” Manning said. “The shelves are a little barren.”

Second Harvest of the Big Bend area is also encouraging residents to volunteer with Second Harvest.

Kilham said there is always a need for people to help others dealing with hunger.

“We need volunteers all year round,” Kilham said. “We're happy to have anyone come into the food bank to learn about hunger in the community.”  

The “Stuff the Bus” food drive will end on Feb. 15. Second Harvest is also sponsoring Un-stuff the Bus on Feb. 25, where all the donations will be unpacked and counted.