The Community Food Warehouse’s annual “Each One Feed One” campaign kicks off today to raise funds to feed the hungry in Mercer County.

The concept behind the drive is as simple as its name, said the warehouse’s executive director, Lori Weston.

“If every person would help one person, we could solve the hunger issue,” she said.

The campaign continues through the end of the year and all the money raised will go to the more than 30 local agencies the warehouse serves, said board president Albert Boland.

“Every year we rely on these contributions because we solely use these funds to feed the hungry,” Boland said.

And every year for the last 23 years, the community has come together to support the warehouse, Ms. Weston said.

More than 2,900 households in the county — about 10,000 people — get quality, nutritious food from the warehouse, Ms. Weston said.

At the warehouse, Ms. Weston said they are seeing a “new face” of hunger: working people who just aren’t making enough to adequately support families.

“We’re seeing people calling in that just can’t make those ends meet, and it’s not as if they’re not trying,” she said. “It’s a sad situation.”

Many people have to choose between buying food and paying for medicine, high utility bills and gasoline, Ms. Weston said. And many don’t know from day to day where their next meal will come from.

“It’s a balancing act,” she said.

Senior citizens are hit hard by such decisions, and many children are affected by hunger.

Almost 20 percent of county children 5 to 17 years old live under the poverty level, census data from 2005 shows, and 11 percent of families overall fell below that level last year.

Job loss, layoffs, health care costs and inadequate wages are also issues facing area families, and with the holiday season approaching, the warehouse is at its busiest.

“Our goal is to not have to be in service any more,” Boland said. “We want to eliminate hunger completely.”

To donate, call 724-981-0353 or send a check payable to Community Food Warehouse to Box 425, 821 Martin Luther King Blvd., Farrell, 16121.

You can also use Paypal to make a donation online at

Other ways to help the warehouse:

• Donate to The Herald’s Good News Fund drive to buy holiday turkeys for local families.

ª Businesses can now donate rather than drop off food and get tax deductions under the federal Pension Protection Act of 2006.

• Bring a bag of food to Hermitage Light-Up Night Nov. 18.

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