Collect 50,000 pounds of food for city's food banks by Dec. 24

The Mexico City Council is challenging area citizens to collect 50,000 pounds of food by Dec. 24, to help fill shelves at the city's three food banks. Mayor pro tem Steve Nichols read a proclamation announcing the challenge at Tuesday night's council meeting.
"The proclamation is going to allow Mexico residents and organizations the opportunity to make a huge impact in their own backyard," Nichols said as he read from the proclamation. "Taking Action Against Hunger" will be such a positive move to help our very own. Every cent of monetary donations that is collected will be used to purchase food from our local merchants. It's a win-win situation and I'm excited to see it unfold."
Nichols said "four percent of our citizens here live in poverty and rely on our pantries. Our goal with the challenge is to make our pantries stronger, healthier reserves. And our ultimate dream is to one day not need the pantries in our fight against hunger at all."
Drop-off points for the donations will be The Help Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday; Mexico City Hall; Audrain County Courthouse Rotunda; Mexico Public Library, the Audrain Medical Center cafeteria, or the Mexico Post Office. Barrels for the non-perishable donations will be in place Monday, Nov. 19.
Checks for monetary donations should be made payable to The Help Center Food Drive, c/o United Credit Union, 802 E. Breckenridge, Mexico, MO 65265.
Representatives from each of the food banks were present at the council meeting and "very thankful" for the council's energy and thoughts.
"Your continued support is truly appreciated," Help Center Executive Director Gary Jones told the council. Jones was accompanied by Joyce Herron, food bank coordinator for the Second Missionary Baptist Church Food Bank and Sue Wheeler, food bank coordinator at the First Presbyterian Church Food Bank.
Mexico's three food banks, their addresses and next food distribution dates are:
• The Help Center, 716 E. Breckenridge: from 9 a.m. to noon, today and Wednesday, Nov. 21 the same time;
• The First Presbyterian Church, 400 Lakeview, from 2-6 p.m. the second Thursday of each month.
• Second Missionary Baptist Church, 418 E. Breckenridge, from 3-6 p.m. on Nov. 28.
For more information or questions, call Gary Jones at The Help Center, (573) 581-3238.