MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County community rallied together Saturday in support of the local branches of the Interchurch Social Services. The 35th annual Christmas in July food and donation drive took place over the weekend at donation points all over the county.
The drives that comprise the Christmas in July event are vital for the food pantries, ISS Executive Director Joy Harris explained to the News. Last year, the drive brought in a total of $17,000, Harris explained, with the goal of this year’s event being $20,000 in combined cash and food donations. The 2018 drive successfully brought in a total of $14,924.
“What it does, is it helps keep the food pantry stocked all summer long,” Harris said. “This is the busiest time of the year, with children being home all day and families struggling to feed them all of the meals they need.”
The event picks up food donations all over the county in Centerburg, Gambier, Danville, Fredericktown and Mount Vernon, as well as monetary donations.
Stationed at the Hometown Market in Danville, Melissa Ensminger and her 9-year old son, Dakota, have been participating together in the drive for the last three years.
“It’s for a good cause and it benefits the community,” Ensminger said. With Dakota adding, “It’s just the right thing to do.” Ensminger explained that Dakota is the great-grandson of Sue Wadian, the ISS branch manager in Danville.
“There are people out there that can’t get help, who need help, and that is what Interchurch is about, helping people,” Ensminger said.
This event functions as a food and funds drive, Harris noted. “It’s all for the pantries. It reflects a relatively small part of the ISS budget, but it makes a huge impact on the families that need it.”