Plattsburgh, NY — Local 22/44’s annual Feed a Family food drive collected hundreds of pounds of non-perishable foods Thursday to help families in need.

Many shoppers at the Hannaford in Plattsburgh took the time to buy items, including Jan Spooner, who wants to pay it forward for those less fortunate.

“I’ve been in tough times myself so whenever I can, I help out,” Spooner said. “Think about the last time you were hungry and couldn’t get the food you needed. Just remember there are a lot of people that live that way everyday.”

People also donated money and gift cards. Hannaford employees also took time out of their day to load up the trucks.

“It makes me feel good,” said Christopher Jiroux, maintenance supervisor, “I’m helping other people who really need it.”

Jiroux had a message for all shoppers. “If you want something nice to do just give a little bit,” he said. “Spend a few more minutes and they’ll really appreciate it.”

Ellie Jent, development director for the Joint Council for Economic Opportunity, says rising food costs have been difficult for families.

“We’re certainly seeing a drive in need and transportation and costs rising means you have less to spend on food so we are seeing more families come in and ask for help,” he said.

The JCEO hopes to end poverty across the country. According to the food bank, just a donation of one dollar can provide up to 5 meals. All money and food donations will be sent to the JCEO.