By Kierra Pixler, Managing Editor
For the fifth year in a row, The Belton Journal will be hosting it’s annual food drive. This year, we are teaming up with Summer Fun Waterpark. Individuals who donate food at the Belton Journal will receive a raffle ticket. When they bring that ticket to the water park, they will offer you a $2 discount off the full day admission price. The discount will be applied ticket for ticket, so one raffle ticket gets one discounted admission ticket. The discount will be valid for the duration of the food drive, which will be the end of June. We will also be doing a weekly drawing on June 6, 13, 20 and 27 for season passes. They include four tickets and the drawing will begin all over again after each set has been given away. You will receive one ticket per food item.
“The food drive is our way of getting our community to support our community,” said Robin Doyal, General Manager at The Belton Journal and food drive organizer. “In the past, we have partnered with Schlitterbahn, however, the food collected has always been donated to Helping Hands. This year I wanted to keep it all local because I feel that the families that win the season passes to Summer Fun would be able to utilize and enjoy them more. When I made the suggestion to Dan Manzella, he was all for it. I’m very happy to have the support of a local business for this worthwhile cause. I’m looking forward to it getting bigger and better each year!”
Dan Manzella, owner of Summer Fun is looking forward to working with the Journal for the food drive this year.
“Historically, at the end of each summer, we have donated our remaining concession stand inventory to local charities,” said Manzella. “In conversation with staff members at the Belton Journal, we learned of this opportunity to support local families in need of food. We were eager to help out.”
Summertime is one of the busiest times for Helping Hands Ministry and they have programs each summer to help prepare families for circumstances that might require assistance.
“Each summer, we do registrations for Project Apple Tree,” said Brittany Duncan, Associate Director at Helping Hands Ministry. “This program aims to prepare school children with everything they need to begin the school year. Each registered child receives a new set of clothes (jeans, shirt, package of socks, and a package of underwear), shoes, school supplies, a backpack, personal hygiene products, and a Bible before they must return to school in the fall. Registration for this goes through the summer, then, at the end of summer, on Monday, August 14, we will distribute the items to the families. Also, we have a summer breakfast program, which provides breakfast foods to children who normally receive free or reduced lunches during the school year. The parents can choose from several different breakfast items throughout the summer, including a dozen eggs, cereal, and breakfast packs which include oatmeal, applesauce, raisins, and granola bars.”
Helping Hands also accepts donations in the form of clothing and clothing accessories. Canned goods and baby food are also among the items that they currently need. The food should be sealed and properly labeled.
“We can always use canned fruit, canned vegetables (preferably not green beans), soups, canned meat, and beans,” said Duncan. “In the summer, we can also always use cereal. Baby food and formula is also a constant need of ours. As long as the formula is not expired and is not open, we will be happy to accept it!”
By all coming together, we can help donate enough food to help our local families have a full and fun Summer!
“We are fortunate to be a part of the Belton community and are excited to see how townspeople come together and support one another just as they have supported our business,” said Manzella.
Drop off is at The Belton Journal, 210 N. Penelope Street in Belton, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information or questions please, call 254-939-5754.
The 5th Annual Belton Journal Food Drive
By Kierra Pixler, Managing Editor