The Big Blue Bus is rolling out the holiday spirit to local streets once again with its annual food drive, and this year will be joined by the American Red Cross of Santa Monica.

The food drive began Nov. 26 and will continue through Friday, Dec. 17.

Transit agency officials said the goal is to help the ever-increasing number of families and individuals impacted by the worst economic recession since the Great Depression.

This year’s food drive combines the efforts of not only city employees but the public as well. All contributions will benefit those less fortunate in Santa Monica and other Westside communities.

Last year’s food drive collected over 42,000 pounds of food for charitable organizations. The Big Blue Bus and other city departments are hoping to increase that amount to 44,000 pounds this year, which equates to nearly 62,000 hot meals.

Those who would prefer to donate canned food can drop off donations at any one of the following locations:

Santa Monica Main Public Library – 601 Santa Monica Blvd.;

Fairview Branch – 2101 Ocean Park Blvd.;

Montana Avenue Branch – 1704 Montana Ave.;

Ocean Park Branch – 2601 Main St.;

City Hall Lobby – 1685 Main St.;

Public Safety Facility Lobby – 333 Olympic Drive; and

American Red Cross of Santa Monica – 1450 11th St.

Information,, or (310) 451-5444.