Disappointed that they could not do more with their Shop with a Cop program this year, the Highland County Peace Officers Association, with the help of the Highland County Firefighters Association, are hosting a food drive next week to benefit several local food pantries.
From 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11 through Sunday, Dec. 13, local residents can make donations to the food drive by dropping non-perishable food items off at the Highland County Justice Center, located at 130 Homestead Ave. in Hillsboro.
“It’s just something we wanted to do because we know the local food pantries are in need, and we decided to come together and see if we could help,” said Damon Haught, president of the Highland County Peace Officers Association. “We all have lots of friends and family, and we figure we can do something to help people out a little bit.”
The hope, Haught said, is to fill the Highland County Sheriff’s Office’s large Special Operations Vehicle with food for the pantries.
He said officers will be on hand when people show up to drop things off and those making the donations will not even need to leave their vehicles.
Haught said local law enforcement officers had to set up a special account to accept donations for the Shop with a Cop program, and when they were doing that they talked about doing something for other members of the community,
In the past years, Shop with a Cop has included area kids receiving a breakfast; a shopping spree where they can pick out things for themselves and their family members at Walmart; lunch at LaRosa’s; a Christmas movie at Star Cinemas; a visit to the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District building to wrap presents, visit with Santa, and have pizza; not mention rides in a law enforcement cruiser complete with lights and sirens.
Because of COVID-19, the program had to be scaled back this year.
“We knew this year especially, people have seen a lot of hard times, and the need is growing,” Haught said.
The donated food items will be delivered to Highland County Community Action, possibly Samaritan Outreach Services and the Because He Lives Food Pantry in Lynchburg, and maybe a couple other pantries, Haught said.
“We just appreciate the public,” Haught said. “With our Shop with a Cop thing we get so much help from the public around here and we just want to give back to the community that helps us so much.”
For more information call Haught at 937-763-4887, Scott Miller at 937-403-3121 or check the Highland County Peace Officers Association’s Facebook page.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.