In December, the Knights of Columbus Council 1074 held their final food drive of the year.. The Knights have been holding these collections for 11 years. Over time, it has grown from a small project into a very large one – it is our second largest source of food, second only to the government’s TEFAP program.
Dozens of members are involved in planning, organizing, soliciting, collecting, supervising and delivering the food donations. Five teams of Knights each handle one of the five collection sites – Food Lions in Leland and Masonboro Commons, and Harris Teeters at Beau Rivage, Long Leaf and Waterford. Shoppers are approached and given a flyer with info about the drive and suggestions of appropriate food as they enter the stores. They drop off their donations on their way out. Often times, the shoppers take the informational flyer home as a reminder of the need and bring food donations directly to the Center.
In addition to the collected food donations, shoppers often make cash donations as well. All expenses incurred are covered by the Knight’s budget; 100% of the cash donations are given to the Sister Isaac Center. These funds are used to purchase any additional food we need; we do extra shopping at the Food Bank each week, and we are able to make any other food purchases needed to augment our inventory.
Last year’s events brought in 4,135 bags of food – it was their best year ever! In addition, they collected $8,255 in funds – the second largest amount ever. (In the eleven years of drives, 32,974 bags of food have been collected as well as $66,151 in cash donations.)
I can’t say enough about how grateful we are for these drives. Thanks to the efforts of the Knights, we’ve had well stocked shelves the entire year. Many times during the year, we have surpassed our usual quota of 35 daily guests; last month, we had 53 one day. We have never had a day with empty shelves, and I give full credit to the Knights for that gift. It meant we never had to turn anyone away due to a lack of food! Congratulations to Dave King and his team for their outstanding support of the Center. Ten more drives are planned in 2018 so I know our shelves will continue to be well stocked!