PENINSULA - The Reachout Food Bank reports the number of people in need on the Peninsula is up 30 percent over last year, and it is the food bank's hope that an upcoming food drive will raise awareness and funds.

In September, the Reachout Food Bank provided food to 1,626 individuals, 30 percent more than a year ago. The food bank also reported to the Chinook Observer that 544 children were served last month, 57 percent more than a year ago - and donations are down.

It is the hope of Peninsula newcomer Chris Melich that a food drive planned for Nov. 1 - 21 will boost the level of food donations before the winter holiday season. Melich is a chiropractor at Ocean Beach Chiropractic in Ilwaco, and over the past six months Melich has seen a need to help those less fortunate in the community.

Melich decided to organize the first annual Feed the Peninsula Food Drive, and with the help of other concerned Peninsula residents, there will be a minimum of six locations to drop off non-perishable and canned goods.

"I just feel like it is important for everyone to give something back to the community. Change will not happen unless you work for change," said Melich. "There is a need in the community for change."

Starting Nov. 1, there will be six Peninsula drop-off locations: Ocean Beach Chiropractic; the Peninsula Senior Activities Center; Sid's Supermarket; Okie's Sentry Market; Shorebank Pacific; Raymond Federal Bank and the Reachout Food Bank at 1405 Bay Ave. in Ocean Park.

Melich said he plans to have bins located near the entrance and exits to the supermarkets. That way, he said, people can pick donations during the course of their shopping.

"This will make it easy," said Melich. "People can pick up a few cans or some other non-perishable food item and drop them in the bins on their way out the door."

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