Golden Harvest Food Bank collection barrels have been rolled out to downtown Aiken businesses and wait to be filled with canned goods to feed the hungry.

The Spooky to be Hungry food drive, held every October by Golden Harvest, kicked off Wednesday downtown. This is the first time Golden Harvest has partnered with the Aiken Downtown Development Association to collect food and monetary donations to serve the less fortunate.

Even business owners and representatives who did not indicate before the kick off they would like a barrel stopped by to get one. The barrels caught the eye of Jeff Howell with Public Education Partners, and he stopped to pick up one.

“Downtown Aiken is very much a community, just like any neighborhood. To have them fighting hunger together is an exciting addition to Spooky,” said Mille Robinson, Golden Harvest events coordinator.

Collections will continue through Oct. 31.

Golden Harvest is asking for donations of non-perishable, commercially-prepared goods and especially requests canned fruits, canned vegetables, canned meats and pasta.

Robinson said every canned good collected will remain in Aiken.

Last year, Golden Harvest collected more than 129,000 pounds of food and $56,000. That permitted Golden Harvest to provide more than 196,115 meals to needy seniors, children and families.

“Spooky to be Hungry continues to grow each year. I encourage people to come out and support the businesses that are supporting us,” Robinson said. “Some businesses are offering a sale or other benefit to their customers if they donate.”

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