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Ashlanders are never shy about helping out their neighbors when help is needed, and next week, resident will have the opportunity to help now and on a recurring basis into the future, by signing up as Ashland Food Project team members.

The neighborhood-based, volunteer-driven organization has taken on a life of its own, expanding into other communities in the valley and beyond. On March 14, volunteers will fan out across Ashland to fill the void that is left on Ashland Community Food Bank shelves on a regular basis.

The Food Project collects food from its donors every two months, generating more than 20,000 pounds on each collection day (24,500 pounds in February). But, impressive as it sounds, that 10 tons of food begins to run out a week or two before each bi-monthly collection.

The March 14 drive is aimed at signing up 80 new donors, who will be organized into 40 two-person teams, adding to the network of neighborhood volunteers who sign up donors who leave a bright-green bag full of nonperishable food items on their front porch for each pickup. Door-to-door canvassers will focus on the neighborhood along Siskiyou Boulevard between Walker Street and Tolman Creek Road, but new recruits are always welcome in other areas as well. Tables will be set up at local food stores between now and then to sign up new volunteers.

Hunger always gets attention at holiday times, but need knows no season. Sign up to help those who need a hand. You'll be glad you did.