Food For The Hungry sets $240,000 goal; unveils change in drive day
MOUNT VERNON — The 39th annual Food For The Hungry Drive officially kicks off November 7th throughout Knox County as a community effort to raise food and funds for Interchurch Social Services, The Salvation Army, and other groups throughout the county who support food initiatives. This year FFTH has established the financial goal of $240,000 and is hoping to collect as much money and non-perishable food items as the community can donate. In light of recent national and local events, the goal has increased as the need in the community has increased. When 1$ is given, it is equivalent to $10 through the buying power of the Mid Ohio Foodbank. Though shelf stable food is appreciated, monetary donations stretch much farther. Food For The Hungry is depending on the overwhelming support of the community to make this year even greater than last year.
“The global pandemic quickly changed the course of financial stability for individuals and families in Knox County. The FFTH board is proud of the partnerships and collaborations cultivated in the community to react swiftly to provide emergency funds when they were needed the most,” said Samantha Scoles, president of the FFTH Board of Directors. “We realize the last eight months have been challenging and for many there has been no or limited relief. The mission of FFTH has never been more necessary than when Charlie and Carol Kilkenny initiated the inaugural drive in 1982.”
As with so many other events, Food For The Hungry will look different in 2020. The biggest change will come with drive day, as the board announces the first ever Friday event on Dec. 11. The change of date is due to the OSU vs. Michigan game on Dec. 12, that is carried on WMVO/WQIO. The live broadcast will happen once again at the Knox County Memorial Building Theater.
“Not only is the date changing, but many events have also been canceled because of the impact of COVID-19,” said Katelynn Mabe, marketing director for FFTH. “The community has shown up through previous years in greater ways than we could imagine and we are once again counting on the love and generosity of every single person in this county. We are asking people to give, give, and give some more. Many are experiencing substantial loss, and together we can help be the solution.”
Food For The Hungry of Knox County has opened the grant application process for the 2020 campaign and will remain open until Nov. 21.
The FFTH Executive Board allocates 10 percent of the goal to grant applications to non-profit groups in Knox County that distribute food to the needy. This year, the seventh for grants, $24,000 will be distributed during the broadcast.
Food for the Hungry welcomes applications for grants up to $2,000 per organization. Grants are awarded with consideration of the number of people being served, the number of monthly volunteers involved, and other factors.
The grant application is located at FoodfortheHungryCares.org. The application link can be found on the home page or under the ‘Who We Help’ tab. Applications are due by Saturday, November 21, 2020, at 12:00 P.M. Grant awardees will be notified by Tuesday, Dec. 2, and announced during the Food For The Hungry live video and radio broadcast on Friday, Dec. 11 at the Knox County Memorial Theater. Those interested can watch in person, on the livestream on http://www.mvnu.tv or listen live on 1300 WMVO or 100.9 FM.
Funds from 2019 have been distributed to both ISS, The Salvation Army, and other grant offerings to help combat hunger and financial loss due to COVID-19. Additional funds were provided to ISS to cover the cost of rent and utilities for their clients.
FFTH grant recipients include Gay Street United Methodist Church, Life Point Church—Backpacks of Hope, Covenant Church Food Pantry, The Half Units, The Church on the Rise Food Pantry, CHOMP Ministries, New Directions, Winter Sanctuary, Knox Learning Center, feedtheVERN, Apostolic Christian Church Food Pantry, Acts Food Pantry, 16:15 sk8 Ministry, Jacqueline McCalla-Cordle Children’s Fund, Byron Saunders Foundation, First Congregational Church of Christ, Place 4 Grace—Feeding 1, Feeds More, Knox County Community-Centered Food Pantry, The Main Place, Centerburg Church of God Food Pantry, Touch Pointe Life Center, Central Christian Church, The Freedom Center, Saint Paul’s Church, Trinity Worship Center — Blizzard Bags Program, Fredericktown United Methodist Church, Knox County Task Force for Older Adults and The Father’s Table Food Pantry.
For more information on the grant application process, contact Food for the Hungry Executive Director Lisa Mazzari at 740-481-2444.
Food For The Hungry was started in 1982 by the late Charlie Kilkenny of WMVO Radio, who wanted to help local families in need during the holiday season. With the help of station owner Stephen Zelkowitz the next year, Food For The Hungry’s vision and purpose expanded to collect enough food and funds during the drive to help people in need throughout the entire year. With the addition of several supporting community partners in 1995 and again in 2012, Food For The Hungry has not only grown but has continued Kilkenny’s legacy and vision.
The annual drive is made possible through the support of six legacy corporate partners (Mount Vernon News, WMVO/WQIO, Spectrum Cable, WNZR Radio, Mount Vernon Nazarene University, and WRP CPAs); eight event partners (Kenyon College, Psi Iota Xi, Kokosing River Productions, the Knox County Career Center, KnoxPages.com, and Park National Bank); and thousands of Knox County residents, businesses and organizations who happily volunteer their time and donate food and funds.
“Food For The Hungry truly brings out the best in our community, from every age group and every walk of life, the spirit of Food For The Hungry rings loud and clear” said Executive Director Lisa Mazzari. “It is such an honor to have the opportunity to meet and speak with so many people that want to help in some way. The generosity of this community makes it possible for those on the front lines to be able to meet the needs of our friends and neighbors every day of the year, not just in the holiday season.”
Food For The Hungry is 100 percent local and all donations are tax-deductible.
“We are blessed to live in such a wonderful community,” said Mazzari. “It warms my heart to see the passion that even our youth have for this mission, it gives me hope for the future. They embrace the calling to serve our fellow man. Please join us in this effort — make a difference, no gift or talent is too small.”
Throughout the next five weeks, the Mount Vernon News, WNZR 90.9 FM, KnoxPages.com, Oldies 100.9 13WMVO, and Super Q 93.7 WQIO will provide information and articles about the needs, announcements, and important notices about upcoming Food For The Hungry events. Information is also available at FoodForTheHungryCares.org, the event Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/foodforthehungryknoxcounty, and on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/ffthcares.
To view the livestream on Dec. 11, visit http://www.mvnu.tv. The broadcast can also be heard live on 1300 WMVO and 100.9 FM.
Individuals, groups, service organizations, or businesses that would like to donate time, money, or services, please contact Executive Director Lisa Mazzari at 740-481-2444 or LisaM.email@example.com.
PRESS RELEASE CONTACT:
FFTH Marketing Director