Feed the Hungry campaign nearing its $20,000 goal
Published 11:05 am Tuesday, December 15, 2015
The pair of decal-laden vehicles making their rotation through Dowagiac the last several weeks can only mean one thing — that the Feed the Hungry campaign is in full swing.
Over the past month, organizers with the annual food drive have collected just shy of $17,000 worth of donations from local businesses, organizations and individuals. With just a week left to go, the drive is just a few thousand short of its $20,000 goal for this year, and is asking for help from residents as they approach the finish line, said organizer Jim Allen.
“Just a dollar goes very far,” Allen said. “It helps so much.”
Started by C. Wimberley Automotive several years ago, the annual holiday food drive raises money from the community to give back to the community, through food donations to eight local food pantries and other service organizations that provide needy residents in Cass County with sustenance. Last year, the drive raised $20,000, which provided around $80,000 worth of food to local families through a special grant.
This year, the campaign got off to a red-hot start, raising nearly the half the money for its goal within the first few weeks, Allen said. The organizer attributes the rapid progress to the increasing buzz surrounding the drive, with many people talking about it through email and social media, he said.
“I think the creditability of the program has helped us a lot,” Allen said.
As with previous years, donors to the program have the opportunity to have their company logo or name placed on one of two vehicles provided to the program through the auto dealership. Some families have even made donations in memory of deceased loved ones, having their late family member’s name placed on the vehicles, Allen said.
To see the program grow to the point it has been energizing to Allen and other volunteers, he said.
“There’s three things I hear from people all the time about Feed the Hungry: people are happy that every penny goes to food,” Allen said. “They’re happy that the food stays here in the county. And they see the cars everywhere where they go.”
On Tuesday, food purchased through the program will be distributed to local food pantries, with local volunteers joined by members of the Dowagiac Police and Fire departments, Allen said.
People wishing to donate to the program can call Allen at (269) 779-1691. People can also drop off donations at 1st Source Bank or C. Wimberley Ford.