The Woodward FFA is making preparations for a food drive to benefit the Woodward Community Pantry.

FFA Advisor Chip Laubach said the drive, scheduled for Feb. 3-14, is the organization's biggest community service project.

This is the second year the FFA has sponsored a food drive for the Community Pantry and Laubach plans on making it an annual event.  FFA students are required to participate in at least one community service project a year.  Other projects students have assisted with include Food for America and packing Christmas boxes with Woodward First Baptist Church.

Sarah Deweese, chairman, and Tiffany Hobbs, co-chair of the FFA Week Food Drive Committee along with other committee members met recently with Karen Ansley, volunteer for the Woodward Community Pantry. The meeting was held at the pantry, allowing the students to see  the empty shelves showing the need for a food drive.

The organization's goal is to top last year's donations of 1,250 pounds of food, the students said.  They are looking to fill a trailer with non-perishables and canned goods.  Invitations to participate in the event will be sent to the Woodward elementary and middle schools.  

Donations can be made by the public at the local livestock show held at the Woodward Fair Grounds, Saturday, Feb, 15.  All donations collected during the food drive will be on display at the livestock show.  Laubach said he was amazed by amount of donations received at the show last year.

The Woodward Community Pantry offers emergency assistance for people in need.  Requests for the assistance are made through the Department of Human Services, area churches, and other charitable organizations.  Volunteers then deliver the supplies to the families in need.  

Ansley said the  community supports the pantry very well.  Donations are made by local businesses, charitable organizations, churches, schools and other individuals.  

But even with these donations the pantry is short on supplies, Ansley said. The pantry normally serves around 17 families a month.  This number has been climbing for the past 3 months.  With one day left in January, the pantry and already served 41 families.

"I appreciate what the FFA is doing," Ansley said. " The FFA Week Food Drive came at a good time for us. We are very low on food."

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