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Posted: December 6, 2008 5:00 a.m.

T-shirt sales to help Food Pantry

EHS students design logo, organize fundraiser

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After hearing that the Community Food Pantry had to briefly close its doors earlier this month when it ran out of food several Eastside High students decided something had to be done.

Jodi Walden and Meghann Timmins decided to raise funds for the food pantry through the sale of specialized orange "End Hunger" shirts and hoodies.

"They’re both members at First Presbyterian [a supporting charter church of the food pantry.] They saw and heard about the need of the food pantry," said Dan Walden, director of Youth and Children’s Ministries for First Presbyterian Church of Covington and father of Jodi.

To raise awareness among their peers about the food pantry’s need, the two girls created a Facebook page, "HELP SAVE THE COVINGTON FOOD PANTRY!" which on Tuesday had 110 members. The group encourages students to bring nonperishable items to school where they will be taken to the pantry.

"End Hunger" short-sleeved T shirts are $10, long-sleeved T-shirts are $15 and hoodies are $20. All proceeds from shirt sales go towards The Community Food Pantry.

To order shirts or make donations contact Ivy Gann at ivygann@aol.com.

"These shirts would make great gifts and are a wonderful way to spread the importance of helping fight hunger in Covington," said Abigail Coggin, who has been emailing her friends and family members to encourage participation in the fundraiser.

Walden said orders for the shirts will go out on Monday, Dec. 8. Shirts should be ready by the end of that week. If orders for the shirts are brisk, Walden said they would likely take more orders.

"Depending on the demand, we may do some more orders," Walden said. "We’re not going to cut off a good thing."

Residents can also drop off financial contributions to the food pantry with Ramsey’s Produce Stand, located on Usher Street.

Rosalee Thompson, director of The Community Food Pantry, which is located on Turner Lake Circle, said she has been very gratified by the response of the Newton County community in recent weeks once word got out of the pantry’s need.

"I want to thank each and every one of you who has donated in every shape and form," Thompson said.

Thompson said one resident even went so far as to bring and entire pickup truck filled with food to the pantry.

"I guess they never thought we’d have to close," Thompson said of the outpouring of contributions from the community.

Thompson said the pantry could especially use donations of canned corn, canned green beans, cranberry sauce and desserts for Thanksgiving dinner. On Tuesday alone, the pantry received 33 requests for food she said.

The Community Food Pantry will host its annual Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Sharp Learning Center.

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