Pickle Drop incorporates canned food drive

One of the traditions of the Mt. Olive New Year’s Eve Pickle Drop is the canned food drive for Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina.

And this year, in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, the food drive is even more important. See the list of most needed items.

“Typically after the holidays local food pantries are nearly depleted, so we are always glad to sponsor a food drive during the Pickle Drop,” said Lynn Williams, company spokesman. “This year there’s even more of an impetus to have a successful food drive, because Hurricane Matthew back in October really stretched food supplies for pantries, shelters and local food banks throughout Eastern North Carolina.”

Food Bank CENC serves 34 counties through 800 partner agencies. In the weeks after Hurricane Matthew, it distributed over 2 million pounds of disaster relief food, water, and supplies, in addition to its regular distributions.

“The need is tremendous, and it continues even now as families in our region struggle to recover from the disaster,” Ms. Williams said. “So we are making a special appeal to those planning to attend the pickle drop to bring donations.”

As part of the pickle drop tradition, people who bring canned food or make cash donations to the Food Bank receive a chance to win door prizes. The grand prize is a three-foot pool pickle like the one that is dropped down the company flagpole. The door prizes are awarded immediately following the drop.

“We’ve had a lot of fun with the door prizes over the years,” Ms. Williams said. “One time I remember a little girl won the pool pickle. It was literally taller than she was – she looked to be about three or four years old. She had to drag it across the grass when we gave it to her.”

The Pickle Drop has partnered with Food Bank since 2007, and has provided 10,000 meals in food and financial contributions since then.

“I think in our biggest year we collected over 2,200 pounds and $800,” Ms. Williams said. “It would be great to exceed that for 2016.”

Mt. Olive Pickle Company, Inc. will hold its annual New Year’s Eve Pickle Drop Saturday, December 31, 2016 at the Corner of Cucumber & Vine in Mount Olive. Live music will start at 5:30, and the evening will also include line dancing and free refreshments. The pickle comes down the pole at 7 p.m. – which is midnight GMT.

“We always encourage folks to get here early. The whole thing is over at 7:05 – or as soon as we award all the door prizes,” Ms. Williams said.

Other details:

The company’s gift shop will be open that day from 3-7 p.m.

For those who can’t make it in person, watch it live on New Year’s Eve on the web at www.mtolivepickles.com.

About Mt. Olive

In business since 1926 in its hometown of Mount Olive, NC, Mt. Olive Pickle Company manufactures the best-selling brand of pickles, peppers and relishes in the country.