COSHOCTON -- The Mentoring Center of Coshocton County (formerly Big Brothers Big Sisters) is hosting a clothing and food drive through July 24. Area residents are encouraged to drop off clean, new and gently used clothing and non-perishable and canned goods at the office at 441 Main St., Coshocton. According to Executive Director Sheila Mayse, the donated clothing will help to provide a back to school shopping event for children in the Bigs/Littles and Side by Side program. "We are hoping for a wide range of sizes, as the children in our program range in ages from infants through 18," Mayse said.This is the first year for such an event. According to Mayse, "We have seen a real need for clothing for children in the program. We also wanted to give children an opportunity to learn about the value of money, so we have set up a store program, where children will 'buy' their items with play money. We want to introduce the concept of budgeting to the children as early and as often as possible."The food drive will help to provide food for group events. "The grant funding we receive does not cover the cost of food. However, we find it necessary to make sure that children participating in our events receive a nutritious meal or snack. Not only does providing food increase participation, but it also gives us an opportunity to role model healthy choices and teach the essentials of basic food preparation and table manners," Mayse said.Requested items include canned beans, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, canned or frozen fruit, canned or frozen vegetables, pasta, Jell-O mix, pudding mixes, bottled water, drink mixes, snack crackers, canned tuna, canned chicken, cake and brownie mixes, applesauce, individual bags of chips, packaged crackers, pudding cups and raisins.All clothing and food items can be dropped off at The Mentoring Center of Coshocton County, 441 Main St. Arrangements can also be made for pick-up if needed. For information, call The Mentoring Center of Coshocton County at (740) 623-8110. The Mentoring Center of Coshocton County is a United Way agency.