The Big Blue Bus is rolling out the holiday spirit to local streets once again with its annual food drive, which is in effect until Dec. 17. The goal is to help the ever increasing number of families and individuals impacted by the worst economic recession since the Great Depression.

This year’s food drive combines the efforts of not only city employees but the public, as well. The American Red Cross of Santa Monica is also joining in to help get the word out to local residents and businesses. All contributions will benefit those less fortunate in Santa Monica and the Westside.

As in past years, the Big Blue Bus is hosting a food drive competition that pits Santa Monica city departments against each other to see who can raise the most cash donations. The Santa Monica branch of the American Red Cross is also hosting an online donation center for monetary contributions, which can be accessed at www.redcrossofsantamonica.org.

Last year’s food drive collected over 42,000 pounds of food for charitable organizations. The Big Blue Bus and other city departments are hoping to increase that amount to 44,000 pounds this year, which equates to nearly 62,000 hot meals.

Those who would prefer to donate canned food can drop off donations at any one of the following locations:

• Santa Monica Main Public Library – 601 Santa Monica Blvd.

• Fairview Branch – 2101 Ocean Park Blvd.

• Montana Branch – 1704 Montana Ave.

• Ocean Park Branch – 2601 Main St.

• City Hall Lobby – 1685 Main St.

• Public Safety Facility Lobby – 333 Olympic Dr.

• American Red Cross of Santa Monica – 1450 11th St.

For more information, visit www.BigBlueBus.com or call the Customer Service department at 310-451-5444.

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