ACCESS Inc. is still short of its goal of collecting 30,000 pounds of food and $37,000 in donations to help the hungry this season, meaning only nine out of 10 economically disadvantaged residents will be served unless new donations come forward, the nonprofit announced Tuesday.

ACCESS Inc. is still short of its goal of collecting 30,000 pounds of food and $37,000 in donations to help the hungry this season, meaning only nine out of 10 economically disadvantaged residents will be served unless new donations come forward, the nonprofit announced Tuesday.

"The community has really stepped up and helped with cash and food donations, and we appreciate the generosity displayed during this holiday season," said Gary Miller, executive director, in a press release. "Because of the increased need, however, we still need this final push of the year to help as many people as possible."

As of Monday, ACCESS had collected 26,587 pounds of food and $31,000 in cash donations.

For every dollar donated, ACCESS can purchase five pounds of food, or about five meals. Donations can be made online at www.access-inc.org or dropped off at ACCESS Inc., 3630 Aviation Way in Medford.

Food bags may be dropped off at any fire station in Jackson County, any branch of Umpqua Bank, Sherm's Thunderbird Market, Food 4 Less or any of the following Medford churches: Ascension Lutheran Church, First Christian Church, Medford Congregational Church, St. Peter's Lutheran Church and Westminster Presbyterian Church.

In Jackson County, the number of people seeking food support has increased by more than 8 percent over the past year, and 38 percent of those ACCESS is helping to feed are children.

ACCESS' 22 pantries provide food for more than 7,200 individuals each month.

The Food For Hope Drive is conducted by ACCESS Inc., Sherm's Thunderbird Markets and the Mail Tribune. For more information, call ACCESS at 779-6691.