The need for food to feed hungry families is ongoing. Keep up the good work by helping others have enough to eat during these tough times. Hold a Knights of Columbus Food for Families program to obtain food for local soup kitchens or food pantries.
Here are some steps to follow when conducting this program:
• Contact a local food pantry or soup kitchen to ensure they will be able to receive the food and ask what their needs are. Also, determine if there are specific items they need.
• Obtain permission (either from your appropriate business owner, government department or pastor) to set up the drive at a local store or church entry way or foyer.
• Display posters-with permission from the appropriate source around your parish, community and stores.
• Ask nearby stores for empty boxes that the donations can be collected in.
• If you are running the event at your parish, hand out flyers to parishioners as they enter the church and ask your pastor to make an announcement about the initiative, or get permission to have a council officer make an announcement before or after each Mass. Also, request that a written announcement be included in the parish bulletin. In the announcement ask parishioners to donate non-perishable food items. These items should be brought to Mass the following weekend (you will need to run the informational part of the event on the first weekend and collect the items on the second weekend).
• When collecting monetary donations, make sure to have a secure receptacle in your collection area for cash and checks.
• Place the needed items in the collection box after setting up so people can see what type of items are needed. Put a sign up near your location so the people that missed your notice will know what’s going on.
The Knights of Columbus will now offer financial rebates to councils that donate food or money. Effective immediately, and retroactive to July 1, 2012 (the first day of the fraternal year), the Supreme Council will refund $100 for every $500, or for every 500 pounds of food, that a council contributes to a parish food pantry, community food bank, or soup kitchen, up to a maximum refund of $500 per council per fraternal year. Indicated contributions of food and/or money should be cumulative for the fraternal year…there is no need to send in a refund request every time a contribution is made, nor does every contribution have to be for at least $500 or 500 pounds of food.
As an incentive for councils conducting these types of outreach programs, the Supreme Council will again count a qualifying Food for Families program as fulfilling all four of the Family Activities requirements for the Columbian Award. In order to qualify, councils must sponsor events with the parish community to collect a minimum of 1,000 pounds of food to be donated to a parish food pantry or community food bank. In addition, council members must contribute a minimum of 100 man-hours in the preparation/distribution/service of meals to needy people. Councils will continue to report Food for Families outreach using the Food for Families report form. The form now includes space to report financial support (for which documentation must be provided), and for personnel of the organization receiving donations of food to acknowledge receipt of the food. Councils should report all financial and food donations made in a fraternal year by June 30 on the Food for Families Reimbursement Program report form www.kofc.org/forms. In addition to the rebate, participating councils will receive an attractive plaque for display in the council meeting place, which will contain space for the addition of engraved plates indicating the years of council participation in the Food for Families reimbursement program.