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FEEDING THE HUNGRY Boxes of food donated for the Mayors Feed the Hungry Program are marked according to contents at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. Photos by Norman Schimmel DONATIONS SURPASS FOOD TONNAGE COLLECTED IN 2011, BUT MORE RESIDENTS REPORTED TO BE IN NEED By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Using two staging areas — Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota and Cranberry Elementary School in North Port — volunteers for the Mayors Feed the Hungry Program boxed up more than 44 tons of food on Nov. 16 for area resi- dents who otherwise would not enjoy Thanks- giving dinner, Scott Biehler, vice chairman of the program, told The Sarasota News Leader Nov. 19. The donations surpassed the 34-ton mark re- corded in 2011, Biehler added. Last year, the program had 161 locations col- lecting food for the Thanksgiving drive, Bie- hler said. This year, 220 locations participated. More volunteers also showed up to help box the donated packages and cans, he added. The food was scheduled to be delivered to 25 different food pantries in Sarasota and Mana- tee counties, he said. In an earlier press release, Laura Williams, di- rector of Florida operations for the Baltimore Orioles, said the Major League Baseball team was pleased to be able to offer the use of Ed Smith Stadium to help with the program. "Families and individuals in Sarasota County are desperately in need of assistance to ad- dress a most basic need: food," she said in the news release.

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