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Facility begins fourth annual drive for food

Thomson Health & Rehabilitation is repeating a program that gathered more than 2,000 pounds of food for charity last year.

The food-drive competition will crown a Ms. Sweetheart and a Mr. Sweetheart at the Thomson facility on Monday, Valentine's Day.

The 2011 campaign kicked off Jan. 18. Sponsors visited the residents they were supporting.

This is the project's fourth year.

Tameka Franklin, the activities director, said she expected at least 15 businesses to support this year's effort.

"We try to fight hunger in the CSRA and help with three local charities while also giving the residents some meaningful activity so they can feel self-worth and help someone," she said.

Each resident designates a charity.

The options are Manna Inc., Agape Ministries and the McDuffie County Animal Shelter. Donations to the animal shelter can include cash gifts, cat and dog food, and cat litter.

Residents are paired with an associate partner from the health facility and with a community sponsor, such as a bank or other organization.

"They can just call the facility and ask for the activities department, and we just encourage everybody to be involved," Ms. Franklin said.

"We're kind of leaning on everybody who helped last year, but we're also asking everybody to get involved."

Supporters may contribute nonperishable food items, and each participating resident will be assigned a box for canned goods and other food.

Ms. Franklin said residents are excited about the program and check their donation totals daily.

Web posted on Thursday, February 10, 2011

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