United Way of Southern Kentucky (UWSK) has collected a record breaking more than 109,000 items so far as of March 28th in a region wide food drive titled “Feed the Need” across Allen, Barren, Butler, Hart, Logan, Simpson, and Warren counties. This represents a more than 11,000 item increase in donations from what was collected last year and the most that the drive has collected in any one year since it began. In its first year, Feed the Need collected 43,000 items.

“Feed the Need” was created in 2009 in response to the increased need in our communities for access to basic needs including food. After speaking with the local food pantries that benefited from the drives in previous years, it was clear that assistance in providing a Safety Net of services like access to food was needed once again this year. Since its inception in 2009, “Feed the Need” has now collected more than half a million items for local food pantries that have been distributed to individuals and families in need in Southern Kentucky.

This year, more than 80 companies and organizations in Allen, Barren, Butler, Hart, Logan, Simpson, and Warren Counties participated by holding internal food drives February 1st – March 18th. Individual county totals included:

Allen County: (2017: 2,173 items; 2016: 2,564 items) U.S. Bank (Main Street, White Plains), Scottsville Police Department, Halton Company; J.M. Smucker’s food drive is currently underway and will conclude at the end of March

Barren County: (2017: 4,386 items; 2016: 844 items) LSC Communications, Federal Mogul, North Jackson Elementary, U.S. Bank (Cave City, Main Street, Wall Street)

Butler County: (2017: 11,129 items; 2016: 9,150 items) Butler County Water District, Delta Faucet, PBI Bank - Morgantown, Morgantown Bank & Trust

Hart County: (2017: 634 items, 2016: 902 items) Kentucky Chrome Works

Logan County: (2017: 8,979 items; 2016: 4,879 items) Auburn Banking Company, Community Service, Logan Aluminum, Electric Plant Board, Logan Memorial Hospital, U.S. Bank (Auburn, Russellville), Ventra Plastics

Simpson County: (2017: 8,698 items; 2016: 9,000 items) Berry Plastics, City of Franklin, Crocker Animal Hospital, Franklin Precision Industry, Harman International, Meritor, Simpson County Water District, Franklin-Simpson Chamber of Commerce Health Fair, U.S. Bank

Warren County: (2017: more than 73,000 items; 2016: more than 70,000 items) BB&T (8 branches), BGHS Beta Club, BGHS Freshman Academy, BGHS Student United Way, BGMU, BKD LLP, Citizens First (5 branches), Connected Nation, DCBS, ELPO, Encadria, Fruit of the Loom (will run in June), Georgia Pacific – Dixie, Graves Gilbert Clinic, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Hospice of Southern Kentucky, Houchens Industries, Kobe Aluminum, PBI Bank, South Central Bank (5 locations), Sumitomo, Trace Die Cast, U.S. Bank (5 locations), Warren County Water District, WBKO, WKU Athletics, WKU Student Activities, WKU Potter Hall, WKU Alpha Xi Delta; also special thanks to Hill Motley Lumber Company.

Each year as part of United Way’s “Feed the Need” Food Drive, volunteers are recruited to assist with passing out flyers and collecting donations at local participating grocery stores to supplement the collected items from organization drives. This year, approximately 400 volunteers assisted with the in store drives across the 7 participating counties.  

All donations benefit food banks in the county in which the donations were collected. The benefiting food banks include Barren River Area Safe Space, Community Action of Southern Kentucky (Hart, Allen, Butler, & Warren), Community Relief Fund, St. Vincent DePaul, Good Samaritan of Logan and Simpson Counties, and The Salvation Army. Volunteers are continuing to add to the total number of items collected in each county as more donations continue to come in.

For more information on how you can help assist with providing access to basic needs, call the United Way office at 270-843-3205 or log onto the United Way of Southern Kentucky website at www.liveunitedtoday.com.

United Way of Southern Kentucky (UWSK) is a local, independent, non-profit organization that works to identify and address the issues that matter most, change conditions and improve lives. The mission of United Way of Southern Kentucky is to be the leader in bringing together the resources to build a stronger, more caring community. United Way is focused on the building blocks for good quality of life – Education, Income, Health and Safety Net. Therefore, the vision of United Way is a Southern Kentucky where all residents are educated, healthy, and financially stable. Incorporated as a charitable non-profit entity in 1956, UWSK has long served a major role in the community by bringing people together to create opportunities that make a measurable difference in the quality of life for people where they live and work.