ASHLAND -- The shelves are stocked at the Ashland County Food Bank despite the busy holiday season.
While the local nonprofit prepared food giveaways for Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Annual Hunger Games at Miller's-Hawkins Market raised $18,750 worth of food, restocking the pantry for January and breaking a record in donations.
"We were very honored and pretty surprised by the continued generosity of our community. It far surpassed what we imagined," executive director of Associated Charities and the Ashland County Food Bank Chris Box.
During the months of November and December the grocery store sold prepackaged groceries in quantities of either $5, $10 or $20. Customers would pay for the bags at checkout, but leave it at the store for food bank volunteers to pick up. Box recalls visiting the store two times a week to gather the donations.
The bags were prepared by a store employee. They included nonperishable items, such as cereal and canned soups.
"Everybody is always ready for it. They want to know when we are going to start selling them," store manager Karen Graves said.
In past years, she recalls raising $11,000 and $14,000. To surpass $18,000 was surprising.
"Ashland is a wonderful community. We just want to thank everyone for helping us out," Graves said.