How to help

To participate in this year's Community Food Share "Let's Bag Hunger" drive, drop donations off at grocery stores around Boulder County. For specific locations, visit communityfoodshare.org .

Community Food Share's annual "Let's Bag Hunger" drive barely topped 100,000 pounds of food last year -- about 20,000 pounds less than in previous years.

Based on food totals so far in this year's 28th annual drive, which ends Wednesday, it's looking like the 120,000-pound goal won't happen for a second year, either.

That has the organization rethinking its goal, said Tom Reed, Community Food Share's food procurement manager.

"We're changing our expectations," he said. "Probably 100,000 pounds is about what we can expect."

Reed said he's not surprised donations are down, given the economic downturn. Some grocery stores also are doing their own food drives, which may be bringing Community Food Share's total down slightly, he said.

On Monday, the "Let's Bag Hunger" drive collected 3,830 pounds of food and $2,990.

To date, the drive has received 65,745 pounds of food and $7,347 in donations.

Community Food Share provides food for more than 60 groups in Boulder and Broomfield counties, many of which report increased need.

Reed said 20,000 pounds of food -- the amount the drive expects to be down this year -- will cost about $10,000 to purchase.

Last year, when donations of food and money were down a couple days before the end of the drive, Boulder law firm Sloat and Nicholson promised a matching grant of up to $10,000 -- and money began pouring in. Altogether, last year's drive raised $74,500, allowing the agency to easily make up for the lower-than-expected food donations.

"But we can't expect something like that every year," Reed said.

Still, he said, the drive is on track this year to bring in $20,000 in donations, which will help make up for the dip in food collection. For every dollar donated, the organization can distribute four meals.

"We're in reasonably good shape," Reed said.