DeSales High School students have been participating in the annual Golden Give Food Drive since the beginning of the academic year.

DeSales High School students have been participating in the annual Golden Give Food Drive since the beginning of the academic year.

Now it's time for the entire community to get in on the act, particularly since an especially ambitious goal has been set this year. Because this is a big anniversary year for the school, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank has been added as a second beneficiary of the drive, along with St. Stephen's Community House.

"Because this is St. Francis DeSales High School's 50th anniversary, the goal is to donate 50,000 cans and boxed goods to these deserving organizations," according to school spokeswoman Karen Cofojohn. "We are asking friends, families and the alumni of DeSales High School to support this drive."

Saturday, Dec. 4, has been set aside for members of the community to drop non-perishable food items off at the south entrance of the school, 4212 Karl Road, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The Golden Give Food Drive dates back at least 30 years, according to Andrea Pore, director of campus ministry at the school and the organizer of this year's effort.

"We as a school really want to give back to the community, which helped us over the last 50 years," Pore said. "And with the tough economic times we figured this was a good way to give back."

In a typical year, the food drive brings in about 30,000 items for St. Stephen's Community House, but with the public's help, Pore said that she thinks the 50,000-item goal is achievable.

"We're definitely optimistic and hopeful," Pore said.

The drive, which was conducted at football games, will be extended through March 8 in order to bring in as many items as possible, according to Pore. She said that the school's students are making a concerted effort to bring in canned goods and other types of non-perishable foods every day through Dec. 3.

"That's the student push, and we're hoping that the students bring in 25,000," Pore said.

Dec. 4, then, is set aside for parents, alumni and local residents to help assist with bringing in the rest, she said.

The second half of the Golden Give Food Drive will kick in on Jan. 24, Pore said. That coincides with the Feast of St. Francis DeSales.