The Utica St. Patrick’s Day Parade, scheduled for Saturday, March 16, will once again include a food drive for the benefit of Mother Marianne’s West Side Kitchen, the Daily Sentinel reported.

The food drive, a longstanding tradition, aims to collect non-perishable food items to support the soup kitchen’s efforts. The soup kitchen and its boutique serve the local community by providing meals and clothing to those in need.

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Parade-watchers are encouraged to bring non-perishable food donations to place in wheelbarrows as they pass by. Organizers remind donors to check the expiration date to ensure the items are still usable.

Additionally, containers will be available for those wishing to make monetary donations.

All donations collected during the parade will be delivered to the Mother Marianne’s West Side Kitchen. Over the past 14 years, the food drive has gathered well over 14,000 food items and almost $16,000 in money for the soup kitchen.

This year the parade is celebrating its 200th anniversary and its 15th year of helping Mother Marianne’s West Side Kitchen.