GGS Members Chip In to Food Drive Effort

GGS Members Chip In to Food Drive Effort

October 5 – Members of the “Gather. Give. Share.” teen giving circle pick a non-profit entity each year for their charitable efforts. This year, the group is raising money for the Children’s Museum of Illinois, but they also managed to chip in to the 17th annual WSOY Community Food Drive.

“The check we are giving today to the WSOY Food Drive is a $100 check,” said Carson Fenton, who was joined by fellow Mt. Zion High School students Anna Tyrolt and Emma Comerford for Friday’s presentation.

Sponsored by The Community Foundation of Macon County, GGS started about six years ago. The teen group works collectively to have an impact on the community.

“It’s just a bunch of teenagers from around Macon County that get together to raise money each year,” said Tyrolt.

GGS will present its donation to the Children’s Museum on Giving Tuesday, the week after Thanksgiving.

“It’s a national day of giving so they honor that day by making their grant to the charity that they select for the year,” said Wegi Stewart, president and CEO of The Community Foundation.

St. Teresa Students Lend a Hand at Food Drive

St. Teresa Students Lend a Hand at Food Drive

October 5 – Several students from St. Teresa High School eagerly did their part to help Friday at the 17th annual WSOY Community Food Drive.

“I ended up with a larger group than expected,” said Theresa Bowser, assistant principal and dean of students at St. Teresa. “When they got here, once they see the operation and how this flows … it takes manpower and they jumped right in and got to work. I’m very proud of them for that.”

Bowser said Friday’s delivery culminated three weeks worth of events and incentives to boost participation and contributions to the Food Drive.

“I think this kind of puts the exclamation point on the activities we have done, with homecoming, our money collection, with jeans for quarters and various activities the students have done,” said Bowser. “They kind of see where all this goes.

“I don’t think they always get that opportunity, but for today this could start a tradition for St. Teresa where we actually have students who definitely want to sign up and come out and give back.”

Last year, St. Teresa placed first with 252,296 pounds worth of donations.

Financial prize incentives for schools this year were $2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second, $1,000 for third, $750 for fourth and $500 for fifth. Additionally, Tate & Lyle offered an additional cash incentive for the top five Decatur Public School District 61 schools.

Food Drive Helps Salvation Army Replenish Its Supply

Food Drive Helps Salvation Army Replenish Its Supply

October 5 – Salvation Army Major Greg Voeller has only been in Decatur for three months, so Friday was his first experience with the annual WSOY Community Food Drive.

“Oh my goodness, just fantastic. I’m so overwhelmed,” said Voeller, the director of the Salvation Army in Macon County. “This is my first time at this event and it’s just amazing how the community supports this fundraiser.”

The Food Drive helps stock area food pantries, collecting a record 1.52 million pounds of food a year ago with this year’s goal hoping to exceed that amount. Voeller said the Salvation Army’s large pantry provides meals to the homeless every day and is definitely in need of the support.

“Right now our pantry is about 90 percent empty. The proceeds received today from the cash and food given will stock us up for the next 6-8 months,” he said. “That’s totally amazing and really helpful.”

Voeller’s first impression of the WSOY Community Food Drive had him amazed by the widespread generosity.

“This really gives me a great appreciation for the community and the surrounding towns,” he said. “I see all these schools coming in from all over the county, it’s just an amazing spirit of togetherness and family here.”

WSOY Community Food Drive Hits 1-Million Mark

WSOY Community Food Drive Hits 1-Million Mark

October 5 – The 17th annual WSOY Community Food Drive has passed 1 million pounds worth of donations.

As of 1 p.m., the total had reached 1,011,164 pounds as the march to top last year’s record of 1.52 million continues until 6 p.m. at the Kroger grocery store on East U.S. 36 in Decatur.

The collection of non-perishable food items and monetary donations will area numerous area social service agencies and help stock local food pantries.

Catholic Charities Grateful for Food Drive Generosity

Catholic Charities Grateful for Food Drive Generosity

October 5 – Marie Rademacher loves coming out to the WSOY Community Food Drive every year.

“I always want to be out here because we’re so grateful for what they do,” said Rademacher, the area director for Catholic Charities. “They don’t put me to work, but I love being here with the energy around this place. Every year it gets better and better.”

Rademacher said the annual event to help stock food pantries helps meet a growing need.

“We’ve been seeing an increase of clients come in for food, so it’s very good that this does get better and better every year. It supplies our pantry for at least a year, and that is just terrific,” she said.

Robin Murray, a supervisor at the Catholic Charities food pantry, says the number of people they are able to feed is “huge.”

“We are open five days a week for a two-hour time frame, and within that time frame we might have 80 to 100 families come on a daily basis,” said Murray.

“It never surprises me how Decatur and Macon County step up to the plate for this. It’s a community event and we wouldn’t be able to keep our doors open without this support.”

Rademacher agreed that the generosity of area residents is always impressive.

“This community is so great. WSOY and their team of workers, the businesses, the schools, all the volunteers, Kroger … we couldn’t do it without them,” she said.

Food Drive Donations Move Past 900K at Midpoint

Food Drive Donations Move Past 900K at Midpoint

October 5 – Half way through the 12-hour WSOY Community Food Drive, the goal of surpassing last year’s record total of 1.52 million pounds appears to be on target.

Donations had reached 910,562 pounds shortly before noon.

The collection of non-perishable food items and monetary donations is going on all day until 6 p.m. at the Kroger grocery store on U.S. 36 in Decatur. Online contributions can also be made at NowDecatur.com.

Kroger Thrilled With Food Drive, Donates $15K

Kroger Thrilled With Food Drive, Donates $15K

October 5 – Kroger enjoys getting the opportunity to play a big role in the annual WSOY Community Food Drive, with the store on East U.S. 36 serving as the host location.

“This is such a terrific local event,” said Kroger spokesman Eric Halvorson. “The people here 17 years ago were part of it when the program began, and we’ve tried to grow with the Food Drive. It’s such a tremendous expression of generosity on the part of the people of Decatur.”

Halvorson said helping provide food for those in need fits in with the company’s goals.

“Kroger has a program called “Zero Hunger, Zero Waste” and we are expanding our commitment to hunger relief around the country,” he said. “It’s a natural partnership for us to be part of this and expand as the food drive does.”

Kroger presented a donation totaling $15,000 to the Food Drive, with three equal contributions going to Catholic Charities, the Salvation Army, and Crossing Healthcare for its prescription produce program.

“We think it’s such a tremendous addition to the lifestyle and promoting healthy living for the people who are being served,” said Halvorson. “We wanted to make that one additional piece of our donation today.”

Halvorson said he would like to see the success of the WSOY Community Food Drive inspire similar charitable action in other Kroger communities.

“This is such a big deal in Decatur, I would like to see if maybe some of the radio stations in Indianapolis could pick up on it,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if people see how much you guys have improved life here in Decatur that they could be inspired by your achievements to do something similar.”

Food Drive Total Eclipses 750K in 5 Hours

Food Drive Total Eclipses 750K in 5 Hours

October 5 – Collections have surpassed 750,000 pounds nearly five hours into the 17th annual WSOY Community Food Drive.

At 10:55 a.m., the total had reached 767,909 pounds of food going to support local food pantries. That’s an average 153,582 per hour, setting a pace that would bring a 12-hour total to 1.84 million if continued.

Last year’s Food Drive collected a record 1.52 pounds. The drive continues until 6 p.m. at the Kroger grocery store on East U.S. 36 in Decatur.