Food for Families Program
The Food for Families program was launched as part of the Neighbors Helping Neighbors initiative that resulted from a Knights of Columbus-sponsored summit held in New York City attended by representatives from many of the nation’s largest volunteer organizations. Established during an economically difficult time for communities, Food for Families ensures that families have adequate access to nutritious food.
Although the economy may have improved in some areas, many families still need food assistance. In fact, some councils have seen families who previously donated to food pantries more recently come to the same pantries to receive donations.
Since its launch in 2009, Food for Families has expanded significantly. In 2015, Knights collected more than 11.4 million pounds of food and $7.2 million in donations for soup kitchens and other food programs.
In addition, Food for Families has seen the formation of several innovative programs at the grassroots level. For instance, Our Lady of Guadalupe Council 8306 in Helotes, Texas, started the 40 Cans for Lent food drive in 2011, which has since become an Orderwide initiative. The program encourages council members and parishioners to contribute one can of nonperishable food per day for the duration of Lent. In addition, Tillamook (Ore.) Council 2171 planted a community vegetable garden that yielded more than 14,280 pounds of fresh food, a commodity that food pantries often lack. These projects — and hundreds more — have done wonders to keep food banks stocked and serviceable.
As added incentive, the Order launched the Food for Families Reimbursement Program, which offers rebates to councils that provide financial assistance to food banks and food pantries. Councils and Squires circles are both eligible to participate. For every $500 that a council or assembly donates to a food bank, the Supreme Council will refund $100, up to a maximum refund of $500 per council (based on $2,500 in contributions) per fraternal year. Columbian Squires circles can also receive a refund of $20 for every $100 contributed.
For questions regarding a donation, please contact us at 800-694-5713 Monday to Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. EST, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org