19th Annual WSOY Community Food Drive

19th Annual WSOY Community Food Drive

WSOY and our community partners are pleased to announce the 19th annual WSOY Community Food Drive on October 2nd at Airport Plaza Kroger on Rt. 36 in Decatur. 

Due to COVID-19, the WSOY Community Food Drive wants to ensure a safe event, while also ensuring the ability to provide to our community food banks during this time of need.  Our local food pantries are already seeing a dramatic uptick in need from first-time families due to severe economic downturn, COVID related layoffs and more.

Because of this, The WSOY Community Food Drive is asking for monetary donations only.  Here is why:

  • Purchasing Power – Thanks to a partnership with the Central Illinois Food Bank, Decatur foodbanks will be able to purchase food for .19 per pound.  This means $1 can purchase 5lbs of food!
  • Avoiding Waste –  Going to a “cash” only system allows the pantries to purchase goods on an as-needed basis and as their space allows, eliminating the need for off-site storage and the risk of expiration.  
  • Minimizing Manpower – The WSOY Community Food Drive has always been blessed with hundreds of volunteers. But with the risks associated with COVID, we feel it is necessary to minimize the amount of manpower on site.  By collecting “cash”, we can cut our manpower by over half.  
  • Minimizing surface contact – Though the risk of COVID thought surface contact is considered minimal, the number of hands that must handle donated food goods during the drive is immense. By allowing a drive-up cash donation (card processing, checks, phone and online donation options will also be available), we can minimize the surface contact with items collected from the public.  

Last year, over 1.5 million pounds of food and cash were collected during our twelve hours of broadcast. This year, we hope to exceed that amount through your monetary donations! Every cent raised goes to the purchase of food!

Last year, because of the wonderful generosity of the community, the WSOY Community Food Drive was able to assist Catholic Charities Food Pantry, The Salvation Army Food Pantry, Good Samaritan Inn, Northeast Community Fund, The Judy Mason Thanksgiving Basket Project, Extended Hands/Reasonable Services, Crossing Healthcare Prescription Gardens, Big Blue Backpacks, Mt Zion Food Pantry, AMELCA, Helping Hands Food Pantry, Moundford Food Pantry, Gods Shelter of Love, Blue Mound Food Pantry and more.

Join Us for the WSOY Community Food Drive

Friday, October 2nd, 2020

6am to 6pm

Kroger, Rt 36

Goal: Raise as much monetary donations as possible

How To Give

  • How To Donate Now:

    To enable the WSOY Community Food Drive to help as many food banks as possible, we encourage the community to give monetary donations. Monetary donations, however, go the farthest. Food banks are then able to purchase goods on an as-needed basis and at a tremendous discount through the Central Illinois Foodbank.  Every dime raised goes to the purchase of food. 

    • You can make a donation now ONLINE through the United Way:  

    • Make checks out to: WSOY Community Food Drive – Tax-deductible donations and donations to be matched must be made to The United Way (Food Drive in Memo)
    • Mailing address for donations:

    First Mid Bank and Trust

    c/o Community Food Drive

    455 N. Main Street

    Decatur, IL 62523

    • Tax Deductible donations:

    The United Way

    C/O: The WSOY Food Drive

    201 W. Eldorado St. 

    Decatur, IL 62522 


    During The WSOY Community Food Drive on October 2nd: 

    • Donate On October 2th By phone: 875-3350 (First Christian Church) – Check pledge, Visa and MasterCard Welcome.  Please let them know if your company offers matching. 
    • Donate your monetary donation on October 2th at Kroger on Rt. 36, Airport Plaza, Mt. Zion through our drive-up donation system

How To Get Involved

  • To enable the WSOY Community Food Drive to help as many food banks as possible, we are asking for only monetary donations.  Monetary donations go the farthest. Food banks are then able to purchase goods on an as-needed basis and at a tremendous discount through the Central Illinois Foodbank.  Every dime raised goes to the purchase of food. 

    Thanks to our community partners, we are able to again offer a substantial financial award to the top five local schools that collect the most monetary donations for our drive.  Individuals and groups can collect cash donations in the name of a particular school.  The top five schools that generate the most in donations will be awarded a cash prize.  Anyone can help support their favorite school by donating in the name of the school.  Parents, grandparents, booster clubs, bands, athletic teams and teachers can and will make the difference.  All Macon County Schools grades K-12 are eligible to participate. 

    This year’s cash awards are as follows:

                    1st Place – $2,500

                    2nd Place – $1,500

                    3rd Place – $1,000

                    4th Place – $750

                    5th Place – $500

  • We are asking you to join our community partners: ADM, First Mid Bank and Trust & J.L. Hubbard Insurance and Bonds, Skeff Distributing, Jones & Thomas/JTnet, Decatur Back & Neck Center, Tickets N Trips, First Christian Church, Dale’s Southlake Pharmacy & Colee’s Corner Drugs, DynaGraphics/Wood Printing, Kroger,the United Way, Herald & Review, and WAND-TV in getting the word out to your employees and the community at large.

    Please encourage them to be a part of the 19th Annual WSOY Community Food Drive – October 2nd, 2020 from 6AM-6PM at Airport Plaza Kroger on Rt. 36 in Decatur.  There are many ways you can help:

    • You can participate by making a monetary donation. Checks can be made to “WSOY Community Food Drive” and mailed to the United Way c/o WSOY Community Food drive. Donations can also be dropped off during the drive through our contactless donation drive-thru. 
    • Consider offering a company match for employee donations.
    • If your business has a marquis, show your support by displaying “WSOY Community Food Drive, October 2nd, 2020. 6am-6pm Kroger Rt. 36 East”
    • Let us know if your company is doing a special promotion or fundraiser for the food drive so we can share it! You can email details to lindsayromano@neuhoffmedia.com

    To find out how your company can get involved, please contact Lindsay Romano at lindsayromano@neuhoffmedia.com

    • How can I volunteer? – Due to COVID-19, we are limiting the number of volunteers on-site at the food drive. Due to the controlled number and limited slots available, we will not be opening the volunteer portal.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Debbie Bogle at  dbogle@uwdecatur.org. To minimize risk, only pre-registered volunteers will be allowed. For everyone’s safety, no drop-in volunteers will be permitted.
    • Can I still donate food? –The WSOY Community Food Drive highly encourages the community to donate monetary donations only this year in order to minimize risk AND allow the pantries to purchase the most food possible.  Cash, check and credit card are accepted. We will have limited ability to collect physical food during the drive. Please contact the agencies directly below to arrange a drop off any food donation:
      • Salvation Army – 217-428-2672
      • Catholic Charities – 217-428-3458
      • Northeast Community Fund – 217-429-5846
    • Can I designate where my donation will go? – The WSOY Community Food Drive is committed to making sure that every cent is used toward the purchase of food.  For that reason, we request that food pantries and agencies submit a grant application prior to the distribution of funds. We are unable to earmark individual donations to a specific agency at this time. 
    • Can I donate pet food? – We understand that our furry friends are family too and that it can be difficult to care for a pet when you are trying to keep food on the table. The WSOY Community Food Drive does not accept pet food. However, we encourage you to consider giving this type of donation to your favorite animal shelter!
    • I want my donation credited to my child’s school. How do I do that?All monetary donations can be credited to the school of your choice for a chance for that school to win a cash prize.  Just indicate with your donation which school you would like it to be credited! 
    • Will Kroger still be offering pre-bagged donations?- Due to the changes to the WSOY Community Food Drive, our partners at Kroger will NOT be offering pre-bagged donations for purchase.  However, Kroger is working to allow customers to make an add on donation to their purchases on the day of the drive. 

    For overall questions and media inquires, please contact Lindsay Romano at 217-423-9744 or email Lindsayromano@neuhoffmedia.com.

  • Thank you for your interest in The WSOY Community Food Drive!  We would like to learn more about your organization and how we may be able to work together to fight hunger. All applicants must currently be providing food assistance. 

    The application for funds from the 2020 WSOY Community Food Drive will be available beginning September 21st  Please check back.

    The application process is outlined below.

    • Application is reviewed and assessed by The WSOY Food Drive Committee (herein known as Committee) based on information provided.
    • Fund availability from the 2020 WSOY Community Food Drive is not guaranteed.
    • Fund availability is also determined by donations received during the 2020 WSOY Community Food Drive. (Currently scheduled for October 2nd. Subject to change) Funds must first be fully processed before distribution can begin.
    • Should a WSOY Community Food Drive grant be awarded, the funds must solely be used for the purchase of food. Funds CAN NOT be used for administrative costs, transportation, delivery, food storage or processing or other programs/services offered by your agency.
    • Should a WSOY Community Food Drive grant be awarded, The WSOY Community Food Drive reserves the right to deposit funds into an account for your use only at the Central Illinois Food Bank in lieu of funds directly to your organization. This will not be negotiable.
    • Prior to grant approval, the Committee may require a scheduled visit to your organization. The site visit is to confirm the program information you’ve provided and to review compliance of the requirements of the WSOY Community Food Drive grant.
    • Fund recipients agree to sign an agreement of WSOY Community Food Drive requirements that all funds be used for the purchase of food.


  • Safety Protocals for The WSOY Community Food Drive: 

    For Donations:  

    • Online donation portal will be available for contactless giving.  This will be open in advance of the WSOY Community Food Drive. 
    • A phone bank will also be available during the food drive to allow for contactless pledges.
    •  Donors will not be allowed to park or get out of their cars.  Donations will be collected by designated volunteers via drive-thru giving. (See volunteer protocols) 
    • We are encouraging cash/check/credit card only during the food drive. 
    • We will have pre-arranged drop off sites at Food Pantries prior to the food drive for those wishing to give food. 
    • We have long appreciated Kroger’s efforts in pre-bagging items needed by our pantries.  This year, however, we kindly ask that customers be encouraged to make a monetary donation.   


    • The number of volunteers/food drive staff will be limited to 30 per hour (2 hour shifts). All staff/volunteers will be separated into groups of no more than 5. 
    • The volunteer sign-in will be in a clearly identified location away from the volunteer working base tent. 
    • Volunteers will wear approved face coverings (over nose and mouth) and disposable gloves at all times 
    • Volunteers will not be allowed to work outside of the designated base 
    • We will have a designated volunteer to monitor any concerns and questions the day of the event 
    • Guidelines, social distancing requirements and proper PPE guidelines will be sent to all volunteers prior to the food drive. 
    • No volunteers, other than those pre-registered for the event, will be allowed to participate. 


    • A designated volunteer will be assigned to clean surfaces (volunteer tables, calculators, shopping carts) every 2 hours to coincide with the volunteer shift change. 
    • separate designated volunteer will be assigned to clean surfaces at broadcast base stage 
    • Hand sanitizer and sanitation supplies will be at volunteer base tent and broadcast base stage 

    Radio Stage: 

    • The radio guest check-in will be in a clearly identified location separate from the stage.  
    • We will offer virtual interview for guests to minimize traffic. 
    • We will allow only 2 guests at a time on the stage with 6ft. social distance between guests and hosts. 
    • We will have a socially distanced waiting area for interviewees (not to obstruct entrance to Kroger) 

    Traffic Control: 

    • There will be two-three traffic control volunteers for the entire 12 hours. 
    • Traffic control will direct those wanting to shop to a convenient car path in which to access parking. 

Thank you to our community partners!

Decatur Back and Neck Center     First Mid Bank and Trust               

Skeff Distributing                            ADM                                            

Jones and Thomas/ JTNet             JL Hubbard Insurance and Bonds      

First Christian Church                    Dales Southlake Pharmacy

WAND-TV                                      Colee’s Corner Drugs

Herald and Review                        Dynagraphics/ Wood Printing

Tickets and Trips                           Kroger

United Way                                    The Community Foundation