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      Annual Day of Action benefits local food banks

      Each year, near the summer solstice, the United Way of Wapello County holds their Day of Action, making use of the extra daylight from the longest day of the year to volunteer.

      Last year, the United Way held a book drive, and this year, they collected food to donate to the local food banks. Food donations typically decrease in the summertime, but with kids out of school, demand increases.

      "62 percent of Wapello County children who were receiving the free or reduced price lunches are now on their own," said Marie Zoromski, Community Impact Associate at the United Way. "And they're going to different food sites around the city. Here in Ottumwa, we have the Salvation Army and two sites from the YMCA, and it's really important to be able to support those food sites. It's really about getting involved in your community -- getting interested, getting involved, and being a part of making your community a better place."

      The Promise Center, US Bank and the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center each made a large contribution, and Zoromski said they had several community members donate as well.

      If you missed the official Day of Action, you can still donate by bringing non-perishables to the United Way of Wapello County, or directly to the Food Bank of Southeast Iowa.