Local law enforcement is collecting non-perishable food during the start of November until next Monday.
Collection boxes in Gainesville Police Detective’s Division, UF Police, Santa Fe College Police, Alachua County Sheriff's Office Department of the Jail and Alachua Police offices were put out on Wednesday by the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives as part of a drive called Strike Out Hunger, Alena Lawson, the president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives’ Florida chapter, wrote in an email.
The food collected will be given to local food banks and pantries and distributed to needy families directly at Alachua County Fairgrounds, Lawson said.
“We are hoping that the community will realize the importance of helping to fill the pantries and food banks with much needed food as we approach a time of year when pantries experience empty shelves,” Lawson said.
The last drive was held in 2015 and raised over 84,000 pounds of nonperishable food and 11,000 pounds of turkey for families in need, according to NOBLE’s website.
Santa Fe Police Chief Ed Book said NOBLE reached out to them through a member, Captain Ryan Woods, who is on their police force.
“Food access is a basic necessity, and any efforts we as a community can do to reduce food insecurities are worthwhile,” Book said.
Matthew Larison, Santa Fe computer science freshman, gave up four cans of baked beans, which were in his pantry because he stocked up before Hurricane Irma.
“I'm not using it, so why not give it up to someone who will?” the 18-year-old said.