Lacey resident Sam Costantino is organizing a day-long food drive at , at the corner of Route 9 and Lacey Road, Sunday, July 15, to benefit the Lacey Food Bank and the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day, Costantino is asking people to bring in donations of nonperishable foods.
"I've lived in Lacey since 1993, and it's always something I wanted to do," said Costantino, a 2003 graduate of "People are struggling with the economy, and this will help people that need it."
Costantino is dedicating the "Hunger Gains" Food Drive to the memory of his father, Saverio B. Costantino, former president of the, who passed away in 2007.
"My dad was my inspiration," he said. "He was always looking to help people. My mom, too. They instilled values in me."
Costantino, who is a sports reporter at The Coast Star newspaper in Manasquan, said summer is a good time for a food drive.
"Canned goods are always in demand in summer," he said. "The food banks are depleted because people donate mostly during the holidays."
Those who come in to drop off food that day will get a chance at prizes donated by local businesses, such as gift cards and tickets to see Aerosmith at the Izod Center in East Rutherford. The raffle drawing will be held toward the end of the day. People do not need to be present to win.
The food banks suggest donations of the following food items: Ready-to-eat canned meals; canned meat; canned tuna; canned fruits; canned vegetables; instant mashed potatoes; canned and dry soup; peanut butter; jelly; boxed rice; canned pork and beans; canned juices; sip-sized juices; hot and cold cereal; nonperishable milk; and boxes of uncooked spaghetti/pasta.
Cash contributions also will be accepted, with 100 percent of the money going to the food banks.
"I would like it to become a yearly thing, as long as I'm in the area," said Costantino. "Hopefully it will get bigger and expand as it becomes more familiar."