More than 1,000 used books and other items have been collected as the Greater Bay Area Ministerium prepares for its first used book sale.

All proceeds from the used book sale will benefit the GBAM food cupboard, which donates about 200 bags of food twice a month to area families, GBAM food cupboard volunteer Jan Leighton said.

“We easily have over 1,000 books right now and probably more than that,” Leighton said. “We have lots of fiction, non-fiction and other items. It’s a good variety.”

Donations to the food cupboard are especially important as more and more families rely on its services to provide food.

“This is such a good cause. It costs over $1,000 a month to run the food cupboard,” Leighton said. “We rely mostly on donations and grants.”

If the book sale raises $340 then the food cupboard will receive a matching dollar-for-dollar grant, Leighton said.

Russel Wing, chairman of the GBAM food cupboard, said raising money is integral to the success of the organization.

“If we don’t have any money then we can’t buy any food,” Wing said. “Most of our food is purchased from Good Shepard and there are seven or eight other churches in the ministerium that all collect food we don’t get or can’t get.”

Demand for food continues to grow as more and more families enroll to receive food, Wing said.

“I get about a dozen new families ever other week. Right now I have about 650 families on the list but only about 175 to 200 families stop by. Most people get one or two bags and we only have a few, if any, of the 200 bags we put together left over. Those usually get picked up throughout the week,” Wing said.

This is the first year the church has held a book sale to raise money and Leighton said she isn’t focused on meeting a specific dollar amount goal.

“I’ve done enough rummage sales in the past to know that we’ll make what we make. It’s hard to say ‘we’re going to make $500′ and then we only make $450. Then you feel like you didn’t meet your goal,” Leighton said.

The used book sale begins Friday, April 20, from 4 to 6 p.m. and continues Saturday, April 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Belfast United Methodist Church located at 23 Mill Lane. For more information or to donate books call 548-2855. People interested in donating books can drop off the items at the church until Friday, April 20.