Give now, and all year

The season of giving is upon us, and there will be many voices prompting you to share with the less fortunate. The requests are sincere and the needs are real, and the season — the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day that encompasses Hanukkah and Christmas — puts everyone in a giving mood, so agencies that serve the poor and low-income residents of our communities rely on that holiday spirit to fill their shelves with food and their bank accounts with cash.

Perhaps because of the images of abundance bombarding us daily, poverty and hunger can seem more pronounced at this time of year, but the reality is, the needs are there all year long. The holiday season is just the time when we are more conscious of them.

There are many needs, but perhaps the greatest of them is food, without which life itself is impossible. The ACCESS Food for Hope holiday food drive kicked off Wednesday and will continue through the end of December.

You can help by filling the grocery bag inserted in Wednesday’s paper — or any bag or box you have handy — with nonperishable food items and dropping it off at any fire station or any Umpqua Bank branch. Cash donations — the most efficient way to help — can be sent to ACCESS, P.O. Box 4666, Medford, OR 97501 or online.

Because of discounts through the Oregon Food Bank, the agency can buy five pounds of food for every dollar, as well as cover operating costs.

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