The recent Nevada collection for the LIVE United Food Drive yielded 2,827 pounds of food and $1,910 in cash — very impressive numbers.

Adam Egeland and Lisa McCoy served on the LIVE United Food Drive Committee for Nevada. The two say they participate in the drive because one in four children in Story County continues to be eligible to receive free and/or reduced lunch, showing the need of children in the Nevada community. Donations to this drive benefit the local food cupboard and help ensure children have food during the summer.

A big part of this year’s collection was Burke Corporation, which alone collected 1,449 pounds of the food and $845 in cash.

Burke held a contest between departments to encourage employees’ giving to the drive. A committee at Burke — Chad Randick, Eric Carlson, Heather Snyder, Jamie Reynolds, Mike Dougherty, Tiffany McSkimming, Zach Lathrop and Kim Houston — helped make this happen.

Other businesses in the community also donated and their contributions are appreciated, McCoy said.

Gil Petersen, who has been director of the Nevada Food Cupboard for 20 years now, said he serves the needs of more than 100 families at the Cupboard currently. When he first started his position, May 1 of 1997, Petersen said, “we were averaging about 33 families a month.” So the need has definitely been growing through the years.

Family size determines how many sacks of food a family gets each time they come in, but Petersen said they give out about 160 sacks a month, and each sack holds about 18 pounds of food items. So people can do the math to figure out about how far the recent donation will go and how much it is needed.

The cash donations, Petersen said, help pay the bills at Fareway and the Food Bank, where he buys items that are needed in the various categories to complete the sacks being given away.

Shannon Bardole, community impact director for Story County United Way, was excited that this year Nevada businesses collected more than double the amount of food than had been collected in the previous year. “This means that the Nevada pantry is well stocked before school is out for the summer – a time that pantries tend to see a lot more families with children since schools meals aren’t available. We are so pleased to partner with the Nevada community on such an important effort.”