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HELPING THE HUNGRY Volunteers sort the food that has been donated. WITH ASSISTANCE FROM THE ORIOLES, THE MAYORS FEED THE HUNGRY PROGRAM BEATS ITS 2012 MARK IN THE TONS OF FOOD COLLECTED DURING ITS ANNUAL PRE-THANKSGIVING INITIATIVE By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Three days before Thanksgiving, the vice chairman of the Mayors' Feed the Hungry Program was filled with gratitude for the generosity of people in Sarasota and Manatee counties. This year a community food drive brought in 50 tons, seven more than the organization collected in 2012, Scott Biehl told The Sarasota News Leader. companies matched employee donations, Biehl said, and student groups even took part by going door-to-door in neighborhoods to ask for contributions. About 200 volunteers gathered at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota on Nov. 22 to sort all the items for distribution to about 20 food pantries — all 501(c)(3) organizations — located "It was a huge increase," Biehl pointed out. from Palmetto to North Port, Biehl said. This year, 265 locations participated in Along with the food, the program welcomed the collection of non-perishable items, he the 2,300 frozen turkeys donated to it, Biehl noted, also an increase. Additionally, some added. Further, public support has enabled

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