The annual spring drive is under way to raise money to help St. Susan's Center provide thousands of meals to the area's needy.
As the "Cents for St. Susan's Food Drive" begins, officials also say the need for funding has never been greater.
The drive is coordinated by the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities.
St. Susan's Director Judy Christian said the center has served just over 20,000 meals in the first quarter of this year. Christian said that was a 20 percent increase over last year, and she said the first quarter has typically been a "down" quarter.
"It's never been more essential for us than it is this year, having moved into a new facility and having to meet an additional need," she said.
Christian added that the center is coming off a year in which it served 80,000 meals, a 13 percent increase over 2005.
She is also urging people to make monetary donations. For every dollar donated, Christian said, the center can buy up to $7 worth of food.
Board of Public Utilities Communications Coordinator Becky Robbins said the BPU has set up colorful collection canisters at several local businesses.
"We have placed our logo on canisters that are at businesses and restaurants around the community that we hope people will put their coins into for St. Susan's," she said. "They can also send a check written out to the St. Susan's Center in their utility bill for the BPU."
Robbins said checks can also be sent directly to the BPU, to her attention.
For more information on the drive, contact Robbins at 661-1666.