The Salvation Army, in partnership with 11Alive News, will head the annual Can-a-Thon, and locals may start dropping off donations at 6 a.m.
Last year about 64,000 cans of food were collected to feed local, impoverished families, and Capt. Douglas McClure with the Salvation Army said the food drive fed nearly 900 local families last year.
“This is our largest food drive of the year,” McClure said. “This supplies 80 or 90 percent of all canned food donated throughout the area.”
However, some needy families ended up having to go without, he said, since the organization ran out of food by the middle of September. Each year, fewer cans are donated as economic hardships are on the rise.
“It should have been more, honestly, but we ran out of food,” he said. “I think the economy definitely has something to do with it.”
Both Rome City and Floyd County Schools have been participating in the Can-a-Thon, having started their collection efforts at the beginning of the school year, he said. In order to boost donations, the students made the drive a competition, with incentives given to students who bring in a lot of cans.
McClure said the Salvation Army has been collecting canned goods for local families for almost 60 years. They partnered with 11Alive News for the official Can-a-Thon about 30 years ago.
Though Friday is considered the big collection day, McClure emphasized that canned food is collected all year long.
Those wishing to donate but can’t make it to State Mutual Stadium on Friday, McClure said people can drop off canned goods at the Salvation Army locations on East Second Avenue and Shorter Avenue.
Donations can be given throughout the holiday season.