Clowns of Barbados are staging their second annual food drive in support of the National HIV/AIDS Food Bank.??

The massive drive, aimed at children and intended to supply this country’s HIV/AIDS Food Bank with healthy food, is slated for Saturday, December 12, at Sheraton Mall, Sargeant’s?? Village, Christ Church.

It will be spearheaded by Annie the Clown, in collaboration with other well-known clowns, Hopey, Pooksie, Sparky and Waynie. It will be their way of creating awareness among children of the needs of the less fortunate and the importance of providing healthy food for people living with HIV (PLHIV).

A key aim is to collect a total of 1000 perishable and non-perishable food items for the Food Bank, between 2.00 p.m. and 8.30 p.m. Last year’s drive saw approximately 700 items being donated.

While it is anticipated that the donations would bring cheer to PLHIV this Christmas, the five clowns expect that children across the island will come out in large numbers to make their contributions in exchange for stickers, twisted balloon animals and other shapes from the clowns.

Children will also be able to take photos with, and to meet their favorite clowns, who will be on location at various times throughout the day.

Community Nutrition Officer with the HIV/AIDS Food Bank, Donna Barker, said collection bins would be placed in the Sheraton Centre Mall, and volunteers from the Food Bank will be on site to assist the clowns in collecting the donations and providing children and their parents/guardians with information about HIV and AIDS and the role of the National HIV Food Bank. She added: "We really appreciate what the clowns did last year and we like the idea; it attracted a lot of children and we hope to have that same level of support this Christmas."

Parents and guardians are encouraged to allow their children to come out and bring Christmas cheer to those in need.

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