Goodwill gets creative with food drive


First Posted: 11/21/2009

When donations werent coming in, employees at the Goodwill in Mount Airy got creative with their food drive.
Customers who entered the store on Wednesday were greeted by an employee dressed like a clown and handing out little pink slips of paper.
On the slips it said, Hunger is nothing to clown around about.
Lisa Browning, assistant manager at the Goodwill, dressed up as a clown to promote Goodwills partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina.
It puts humor on a bad situation. Im hoping that the box is overflowing tomorrow, Browning said.
Goodwill has partnered with Second Harvest to do an ongoing food drive. Each Goodwill location can donate its items to a local agency that receives help from Second Harvest. Items donated to the Mount Airy Goodwill will go directly to Foothills Food Pantry and Yokefellow Cooperative Ministry.
Beverly Jones, coordinator for Foothills, said, It is a great benefit to us.
She explained that this saves the pantry from having to drive to Winston-Salem to pick up items from Second Harvest and pay small fees for food.
Originally, the food was slated to go to Foothills only, but Jones said the Foothills board decided to split it with Yokefellow. The organizations will alternate pick-ups of food.
This is a partnership that will continue, Jones said.
Goodwills partnership with Second Harvest began around a month ago. The Mount Airy Goodwill had a box set out in its donation area, but nothing was coming in.
Thats when Browning decided to try something new to let people know about the food drive. She printed out 300 sheets of pink slips advertising the campaign and put the box at the front of the store.
A lot of people didnt know about it, Browning noted.
Now as a part of the food drive, people can enter their name in a drawing each time they bring food. Each month the store will draw a name to win a $10 store credit.
Wednesday was the start of the new marketing strategy for the food drive, and the response was positive. Browning said, People are just ecstatic about it.
People can bring any non-perishable food item to put in the box. Jones noted that Foothills is extremely low on cans of tomatoes and Hamburger Helper.
Goodwill employees are trying to get a Second Harvest box to put in the donation drive-through so there will be two ways to give food. Anything thats convenient for customers, said Browning.
Browning plans to dress up once a month to promote the food drive. In the future, she may dress up as a turkey or Santa. This week she dressed up as a happy clown to make a point.
It gives them something to think about. People who are hungry arent happy, she said.
Jones said there are more people who are hungry in the county than most people realize.
This will feed those who cant feed themselves, she remarked.
With employment down, Jones said need has gone up this year. Around this time of year, she said people are more willing to give.
Browning pointed out, People are hungry every day of the week.
She hopes the new partnership between Goodwill and Second Harvest will help eliminate hunger in Surry County. She wants to collect 10 large boxes full of food before Christmas.
Browning said, Its helping Second Harvest, and its helping the community.
Contact Meghann Evans at [email protected] or 719-1952.

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