With only neighborhood collection sites reporting, an official for Golden Harvest Food Bank said Monday that their annual It's Spooky to be Hungry Drive is on track to surpass last year's total for donations.
Harvey Bellamy, the coordinator for the food bank's largest collection drive, said it has collected more than $44,000 and about 50,000 pounds of food. There are 215 non-neighborhood sites across Aiken, Richmond and Columbia counties yet to report.
"Last year we generated over $59,000, so we're only $15,000 shy of that, which, with 214 businesses out there, we're going to probably meet or exceed our goal," Bellamy said. The goal is $60,000.
This was the 15th year for the food drive, which is designed to bring communities together to fight hunger in the area. It primarily is a neighborhood effort, but it also includes drives in schools, churches and businesses.
Bellamy said he expects to have official totals for the drive later this month.
He said donations were strong leading into the holiday season -- traditionally a busy time for charity work -- but requested that people not forget to support the hungry all year long.
"Usually for donations, people feel the gift of the holiday season ... so they're more apt to donate," he said. "But we need donations throughout the year."
Last year, the food bank distributed more than 12 million pounds of food. Bellamy said it collected 109,143 pounds of food last year, which provided 321,873 meals.