Food for Families

The Knights of Columbus is committed to ending hunger in local communities by asking local councils to participate in the Orderwide Food for Families Program.

Since 2012, the Knights of Columbus has donated over $10.7 million and 21.5 million pounds of food to local food pantries, community food banks and soup kitchens.

To encourage local Knights of Columbus councils to participate in this worthwhile program, the Supreme Council offers financial rebates to councils and assemblies that donate food or money. For councils or assemblies, the Supreme Council will refund $100 for every $500 donated, or for every 1,000 pounds of food that a council contributes to a parish food pantry, community food bank or soup kitchen - up to a maximum of $500 per council/assembly per fraternal year. Reported contributions of food and/or monetary donations should be cumulative for the fraternal year and there is no need to send in a refund request every time a contribution is made. However, to be eligible for the rebate, the cumulative total of contributions of food/money needs to reach a minimum of $500 or 1,000 pounds of food for councils or assemblies.

In addition, the Supreme Council recognizes that participating in this program can be time consuming for the local council. Should a council choose to participate in this program, this will fulfill all four of the Family Activity requirements for the Columbian Award.

In order to qualify as fulfilling all four requirements, the council must collect and donate a minimum of 1,000 pounds of food and council members must contribute a minimum of 100 man-hours in the program.

Participating councils/assemblies can qualify to receive an attractive plaque by reporting activity in the program on the Food for Families Reimbursement Program Form (#10057) to the Supreme Council.

For additional information on the Food for Families Program, please contact the Supreme Council at 203-752-4270.

Action Steps

  • Contact your local parish food pantry, community food bank or soup kitchen to ensure they will be able to receive food donations and inquire if they have any specific needs.
  • Obtain permission from the appropriate person (pastor, business owner(s), etc.) to set up the food drive at the church or store and to display posters.
  • Ask nearby retail stores for empty boxes so there is a place to store donations.
  • If the council is conducting the Food Drive at the parish, have flyers available for distribution or placed in the pews announcing the details of the Food Drive.
    • Ask the pastor for permission to make an announcement before or after Mass about the Food Drive.
    • Be sure to include a written announcement in the parish bulletin.
  • For monetary donations, be sure to have a secure receptacle in the collection area for cash and checks.

For additional information on the Food for Families Program, please contact the Supreme Council at (203) 752-4270.


Support Materials

To assist your council in its participation in the Food for Families Program, the following materials are available from the Supreme Council.

Food for Families Reimbursement Program Refund/Plaque Application (Item # 10057)
Annual Survey of Fraternal Activity (#1728) Due 6/30
Columbian Award Application (#SP-7) Due 1/31

For additional information on the Food for Families Program, please contact the Supreme Council at 203-752-4270.


40 Cans for Lent

Food for Families is a popular program among councils, but why not bring a new idea to your council? “40 Cans for Lent” is part of the Order’s Food for Families initiative, a series of programs launched in 2009.

Through this program, council members and parishioners are encouraged to contribute one can of non-perishable food per day for the duration of Lent. Running a “40 Cans for Lent” program connects traditional Lenten alms-giving with meeting the nutritional needs of poor families in the local community. The program is a good reminder for parishioners to continue their donations beyond the Christmas holiday season and to make a difference in the fight against hunger.

To encourage local Knights of Columbus councils to participate in the Food for Families program, the Supreme Council is offering financial rebates to councils and assemblies who donate food or money. For councils or assemblies, the Supreme Council will refund $100 for every $500 donated, or for every 1,000 pounds of food that a council contributes to a parish food pantry, community food bank or soup kitchen - up to a maximum of $500 per council/assembly per fraternal year. Reported contributions of food and/or monetary donations should be cumulative for the fraternal year and there is no need to send in a refund request every time a contribution is made. However, to be eligible for the rebate, the cumulative total of contributions of food/money needs to reach a minimum of $500 or 1,000 pounds of food for councils or assemblies.