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How Hamilton’s largest dump truck hopes to help a food pantry as donations lag

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Posted at 8:40 AM, May 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-20 12:25:52-04

HAMILTON, Ohio -- As food pantries enter a period of the year with fewer donations, Hamilton is working to provide a bump in a very noticeable way.

Hamilton’s Public Works Department plans to celebrate National Public Works Week by filling the largest dump truck in its fleet with food to benefit the Serve City food pantry, The Journal-News reported.

The pantry has become more strained after the closure of a pantry at the Tri County Assembly church in Fairfield several months ago and another at St. Raphael-Holy Angels Parish about a year and a half ago, said Linda Kimble, the executive director at Serve City, located at 622 East Ave.

“So that makes us the largest food pantry in the area, with a lot of gaps,” Kimble said.Food pantries in general are heading into a low period of the year for donations, she said. “We tend to have a lot of people who bring donations and want to help out around the holidays, but as summer comes, and people get busy with vacations and those types of things, we usually do dip in the summer,” she said.

Starting Monday, the Hamilton truck will be at two Kroger locations at scheduled times, with several other drop-off locations also available for people to leave food through the week.

The truck will be parked at the East Side Kroger, 1450 S. Erie Boulevard, Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and at the West Side Kroger, 1474 Main St., Wednesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“It’s part of the American Public Works Association, one of their suggestions to get community involvement, in celebration of our government service,” said Hamilton Public Works Director Jim Williams. “They recommend using a truck, and we, of course, wanted to use the largest truck we could find, so we’re going to use our tandem axle 15-yard dump truck.”That size of truck can hold about 20 tons of food, he said.“If we’re lucky, then we can fill this thing. If not, then we’ll do the best effort we can,” Williams said.

All non-perishable food will be accepted during the food drive, but Serve City and the city developed a list of particular items the food bank and those it serves can use. Those include:

  • Cereal
  • Canned fruits and soups
  • Dried pasta
  • Coffee
  • Creamer
  • Sugar
  • Spices
  • Condiments
  • Disposable silverware
  • Toiletries, including soap, shampoo, deodorant and toilet paper

Serve City has also asked that if possible, donations like pasta and cereal not be in bulk packaging, as those items must be repackaged as part of their distribution.

Meanwhile, people can drop off food for the drive at other locations:

Monday through Friday: Hamilton City Building (345 High Street), 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the first floor Utility Customer Service Suite.

Monday through Friday: Hamilton Municipal Garage (2210 S Erie Highway), 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the front office.

“The city has been a big supporter of ours ever since we first opened up” in 2000, Kimble said. “This was entirely their idea for a community-building project."

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