MOUNT VERNON — The 40th annual Food For The Hungry Drive officially kicks off Friday, Nov. 5 throughout Knox County as a community-wide effort to raise food and funds for Interchurch Social Services, The Salvation Army, and other ministries and organizations throughout the county that support food initiatives. This year, FFTH has established a financial goal of $275,000 and hopes to collect as many non-perishable food items as the community can donate.
“Knox County came through in ways we could have never imagined in 2020,” said FFTH President Samantha Scoles. “We were cautiously optimistic of reaching our goal because of the economic impact of the pandemic. But our partners shattered our goal and our records and provided 175 percent of our goal.”
Here are some examples of what FFTH was able to fund because of the $424,029.71 donated in 2020:
- $37,430 in emergency COVID grants to assist with anticipated increased food insecurity throughout the county. These funds also allowed our Hot Meals programs to cover the costs to transition from sit-down meals to portable carry-out protocols.
- $192,000 in quarterly distributions between The Salvation Army and Interchurch Social Services.
- $45,000 awarded in tangible grants that helped purchase commercial refrigeration, freezers, technology to increase efficiencies during food distribution, items to assist with pantry organization, truck repairs, and other needed items that could not be covered by agency budgets.
- Just recently, a $2,500 grant to the Task Force for Older Adults to fund their 2021 Christmas Basket project. This last-minute grant kept the project going at a time when traditional donors were struggling to provide the needed funds.
As a result of the increases in government benefits to purchase food throughout the pandemic, agencies like Interchurch and The Salvation have seen a dramatic change in their requests for assistance. While demand for food is down, they are seeing a tremendous increase in requests for housing and utility assistance. This information played a pivotal role in the board’s conversation to set a goal for 2021 that would allow those agencies to provide as much assistance as possible while also providing financial assistance to those food pantries that continue to realize a steady, or increased, request for food packages.
The 2021 FFTH live Broadcast will take place on Friday, Dec. 10, at the Memorial Theatre inside the Knox Memorial.
“We are thrilled to be able to host the 2021 drive on a Friday again this year.” Said Executive Director Lisa Mazarri, “We discovered last year that a Friday event opened up opportunities for not only individuals to volunteer to man collection sites, but also lends itself well to companies and organizations who would like to be able to participate as a group! We would love to encourage local employers and organizations to allow employees to get involved in this amazing community project by volunteering at collection points for various shifts! This is such a great way to kick off the holiday season and show how much we care about our community!”
Food For The Hungry of Knox County grant application process for the 2021 campaign will open Monday, Nov. 8, and will remain open until Monday, Nov. 22 at 12 pm, noon.
The FFTH Executive Board allocates 16 percent of the goal for grant applications to non-profit groups in Knox County that distribute food to the needy. This year, up to $44,000 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 detailed in the application.
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 Monday, November 22, 2021, at 12:00 pm, noon. Grant awardees will be notified by Thursday, Dec. 2, and announced during the Food For The Hungry live video and radio broadcast on Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Knox County Memorial Theater. Those interested can watch in person, on the livestream on www.mvnu.tv or listen live on 1300 WMVO or 100.9 FM.
Check out our upcoming events in November—More information to come!
- Food For Fines (Nov. 4-Dec. 11)
- Battle of the Coffee Shops (Nov. 6–Nov. 20)
- Turkey Trot (Nov. 26)
- Main Street Mount Vernons Shop Small Saturday Celebration and Annual Holiday Parade (Nov. 27)
- KCCC Online Auction (Nov. 28–Dec. 10)
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, www.facebook.com/foodforthehungryknoxcounty, and on Twitter/Instagram @ffthcares.
To view the livestream on Dec. 10, visit www.mvnu.tv. The broadcast can also be heard live on 1300 WMVO and 100.9 FM.
For more information on the grant application process, volunteering and donations toward our $275,000 goal, contact Executive Director Lisa Mazzari at 740-481-2444 or email LisaM.email@example.com.
Thank you for your support as we Work Together to Care for Our Neighbors.