BOONE — Eager to do their part for the community, Watauga County Parks and Recreation partnered with local charitable organizations for a food drive starting Jan. 11 to provide food for those in need of a helping hand this winter.

Watauga County Parks and Recreation is collaborating with the Hospitality House, Hunger and Health Coalition and Casting Bread Food Pantry. The food drive will continue through Feb. 12.

“We just wanted to give back to the community and help out a little bit during the pandemic,” said Stephen Poulos, director of Watauga County Parks and Recreation. “With COVID-19 we know that there’s a lot of people suffering and we just want to do our part.”

Currently, the WCP&R is collecting items such as low sodium canned vegetable, canned fruit in juice, water or light syrup, canned tuna in water, low sodium canned beans, cereals such as grits, oatmeal and raisin bran, brown rice, peanut butter, canned chicken, dry milk, evaporated milk or shelf-stable milk, high fiber granola bars, whole wheat pasta and other nonperishable items.

According to Poulos, this is the first time that WCP&R has held a food drive, however, if things go according to plan the WCP&R hopes to continue the event in the future.

“I have the feeling that we’ll probably be making this an annual event, but let’s get through the first year and see how it goes,” said Poulos.

WCP&R hopes to deliver the donated items to local food pantries by Valentines Day. Those interested in donating can drop off food-items at the Watauga Community Recreation Center Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information about this program visit www.wataugacounty.org/App_Pages/Dept/ParksRec/home.aspx or call (828) 264-9511. WCP&R can also be found on social media at www.facebook.com/Watauga-County-Parks-and-Recreation-232565740490593.

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