Health and Family Services Cabinet
Make a Difference Day Project Collects 71 Tons of Food; Effort was part of national volunteer project
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 21, 2008) – A statewide food drive led by the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service (KCCVS) has collected almost 71 tons of food for Kentuckians in need.
The project was part of Make A Difference Day, an annual nationwide effort held on the fourth Saturday of October and billed as a day to help others. USA Weekend magazine was the main sponsor.
The state’s 12 AmeriCorps programs and staff from CHFS’ nine Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) regions were invited to participate in the food collection.
Eileen Cackowski, executive director of KCCVS, part of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said she was impressed with this year’s totals.
“It is incredible that so much food could be collected during this year’s drive,” said Cackowski. “The AmeriCorps members and DCBS staff serve vulnerable and disadvantaged families every day, and the success of this effort shows their commitment to serving these families is not just what they do, it’s their way of life.”
The amount collected this year is enough to feed 283,880 Kentuckians an 8-oz. serving of food. If all 283,880 Kentuckians were standing in line for their serving of food, the line would be more than 100 miles long.
The KCCVS traditionally sponsors an annual campaign to collect as much canned beef stew, canned goods and other non-perishable food as possible as part of its Make A Difference Day observance. Food is donated to food pantries and emergency feeding centers in the communities of collection.
The leading AmeriCorps program was the 31-member MSU Corps of Morehead State University, which collected 878,739 ounces of food, followed closely by 49-member The Learning Corps of the Barren County School District. The winning DCBS service region was Eastern Mountain Service Region, which has 496 employees.
MSU Corps and the Eastern Mountain Region will receive Make A Difference Day Traveling Awards next spring at the annual Governor’s Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service. They will keep the awards for one year before the awards are passed on to another group.
Cackowski said the campaign is a good way for AmeriCorps members and CHFS staff to connect in service.
“The Make A Difference Day food drive calls attention to the great needs of people across the state that so many families – even families with working parents – are experiencing,” she said.
The day also highlights the ease and fun of volunteering when you do it as a group with your coworkers, church or family, Cackowski said.
For more information about the Make A Difference Day campaign, volunteering or the AmeriCorps programs visit www.volunteerKY.ky.gov.
– 30 –