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A food drive held by two Shelby County teens during election week has proved to be very successful, according to Starla Martin, mother of Jacob Martin.
“The food drive brought in 4,762 food items,” Martin said, adding that did not include a food collection box at W.J. Andriot's, located at 718 Main Street.
Employees at that location said the box was not full but did contain a substantial amount of food.
The two teens, Jacob Martin, 16, of Waddy and Thomas Solinger, 17, of Simpsonville, had decided to hold the food drive after reading about the food shortage at local food pantries.
They received permission from the Shelby County Clerk's Office to place food collection boxes at each precinct on Election Day in order to get maximum exposure for the project.
Jacob Martin, who was stationed at the Waddy precinct, said a lot of people told him they forgot about the food drive but would come back with some food, and some did.
Starla Martin said the boys were very excited when they counted the food items.
“There was really more there than it sounds like, because some parcels contained more than one food item,” she said.
Martin said she received a call from Shelby County Magistrate Tony Carriss who informed her that employees at Roll Forming Corporation, located at 1070 Brooks Industrial Road, have been inspired to hold a food drive of their own after reading about the teen's drive.
“It's just so wonderful,” she said. “The boys read about the need for food in the newspaper, and now somebody else is responding after reading about their food drive. The whole thing is just snowballing in such a wonderful way.”
The employees' food drive at Roll Forming will benefit the community food bank at the Multi-Purpose Community Action Agency, she said.
Teresa Pointer with Multi-Purpose said the food will certainly come in handy.
“I just think it's great. These are hard times, and every additional amount helps,” she said.