Kentucky State Police officially began its 10th annual Cram the Cruiser holiday food drive Monday.
The drive is designed to provide nonperishable food items for families in need throughout Kentucky and will continue through Dec. 9. People who want to contribute items are encouraged to drop off nonperishable food items at their local post during the campaign.
In Warren County, the public will also have a chance to contribute at Kroger at 711 Campbell Lane from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday as part of a partnership between KSP, Kroger and Pepsi to draw special attention to the drive.
For Trooper Daniel Priddy, public affairs officer for KSP Post 3 in Bowling Green, this is his first time being part of the food drive.
“I’m hoping for a good turnout,” he said. “There’s a lot of families out there that need food and a lot of food banks that need the help.”
Priddy stressed the opportunity for the public to also make donations at KSP Post 3 at 3119 Nashville Road.
“What we do is put a cruiser out in front of (the) post and put some signage there and we accept all nonperishable food donations the whole period at the post,” he said. “Anybody that is wanting to bring food can bring it anytime since the post is open 24 hours a day. The Kroger events are our main statewide event where troopers from across the state will be at the store.
“We partner with local food drives, local churches and food pantries and some schools to help make sure that this will all get distributed to people in need,” Priddy said. “We serve an eight-county area, so we want to make (sure) this food gets to people who actually need it. We get together with other programs to make sure that everyone is going to have a little bit of food for the holiday season.
“The food drive is a good thing because when you’re young the things you really remember in the holidays is that meal with family,” Priddy said. “We are just trying to make sure that everyone has that opportunity.”
State KSP spokesman Sgt. Josh Lawson said hunger is an urban, suburban and rural problem.
“There is no area of the state where it does not exist. Through this program, we have an opportunity to make a significant impact on the lives of our neighbors and participate in the spirit of the season,” he said.
Lawson suggests donations of non-expired canned fruit and vegetables, canned meat, macaroni and cheese, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, canned soups, chili or spaghetti sauce, brownie and cake mixes, coffee, water, powdered milk and juices.
“The holidays are a time when people come together to support one another. Last year, nearly 243,000 pounds of food were donated from individuals, businesses, school groups, social clubs, scout troops and civic organizations throughout the state,” he said. “Feeding our neighbors is a noble cause, but it takes a team effort. Together we can take a stand against hunger and help make the holidays bright for families in need this year.”
– For more information about the drive, visit kentuckystatepolice.org/ctc.
– Follow Daily News reporter Will Whaley on Twitter @Will_Whaley_ or visit bgdailynews.com.