(photo by Curtis Miller)
While the need to feed hungry families is constant, the Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas season is traditionally a time of increased Knights of Columbus outreach to feed hungry people. Knights of Columbus councils throughout the Order participate in a wide range of programs – under the umbrella of the Food for Families initiative – to provide sustenance to those in need. Here are just two examples of the good works being done by Knights and their families.
For more than 22 years, Knights of Columbus Fairview Council 4044 in Chicopee, Mass., Have conducted a community Thanksgiving dinner. The event gathers and feds to those in need providing a holiday meal and the company of friends and family with which to share it. Meals are given to area facilities that serve the needy, and delivered to the homebound. Last year the council provided meals to more than 3,500 people.
Three years ago the members of Tillamook (Ore.) Council 2171 launched a project to establish a council vegetable garden. This year the council donated more than 15,000 of produce, more than 1,000 over last year’s donation. Columbia recently featured an article on this council’s outstanding efforts.
In order to encourage increased council outreach to food banks, food pantries, and soup kitchens, the Knights of Columbus offers financial rebates to councils that donate food or money. 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. Although food donations are valuable, food bank managers often say that contributions of money are even more valuable, as they allow the food bank to procure exactly the food items that they need. In addition to monetary donations, volunteer support may be provided to help sort food and perform other valuable functions. Visit kofc.org/food for more information.