Paducah Power System's Christmas in the Park hit a huge milestone in 2019 for canned good collection.

The annual event gathered $35,254 and 69,475 pounds of food through Christmas light displays at Bob Noble Park and the School Challenge, featuring many local schools. Competing schools contributed more than half of the food total with 45,255 pounds.

The amount helped it hit a milestone of over 1 million pounds in canned goods collected over the food drive's history.

"The 1-million-pound milestone is symbolic of the way this community takes care of its friends and neighbors, year after year," stated Andrea Underwood, director of human resources and community relations for Paducah Power System.

"We are humbled and grateful for the way hundreds of volunteers worked together to create an event that feeds those in need, attracts Christmas tourists and enhances the holiday experience for people."

PPS also stated Christmas in the Park's proceeds will be divided among Paducah Cooperative Ministry, the Salvation Army, Family Service Society and St. Vincent De Paul Society.

Capt. Johnny Horton, commanding officer of the Salvation Army in Paducah, called the annual event's donations a "huge blessing" for the organization.

"The food that is collected for the Paducah Power (event) in the park, and the money that is collected there in the park, help sustain the Salvation Army's food pantry throughout the whole year," Horton said. "It's our largest donation of food supplies that we get and it's one that really, really sustains us all the way -- at least until the summertime."

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