With the holiday season approaching, the Annual Payson Canned Food Drive was launched at the Rim Country Rotary Club's breakfast meeting Thursday.
The organization's members alone have pledged to raise more than 4,500 cans and 10,000 non-perishable items total. To reach those goals, they have enlisted local grocers for help in seeing that no area resident goes without a Thanksgiving dinner at home.
Both Wal-Mart and Bashas' have placed within their Payson stores large white barrels donated by Darryl's Precision for collection of nonperishable items.
Because the local economy was so hard-hit by the events of Sept. 11, 2001, the local need for food assistance has increased dramatically, drive organizers say.
The food drive will last until Thanksgiving evening Thursday, Nov. 28.
Any items not used for home dinner distributions will be given to the St. Vincents de Paul Food Bank.
For those who would like to contribute funds for the Thanksgiving portion of the food drive, donations can be mailed to Rim Country Rotary - Payson, P.O. Box 703, Payson, Ariz., 85547. Please include a note specifying "for Thanksgiving food drive."
For more information, call Rev. Robert Elliott at (928) 468-8439.
Look for contribution boxes around town and check with your church for other ways to help.