United Way of Southern Kentucky (UWSK) has collected more than 96,000 items so far as of May 2nd in a region wide food drive titled “Feed the Need” across Allen, Barren, Butler, Hart, Logan, Simpson, and Warren counties. This represents at more than a 30,000 item increase in donations from what was collected in the previous year and the most that the drive has collected in any one year since it began.

“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 467,000 items for local food pantries to be 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 March 1st – April 29th. Participating companies and organizations included:

Allen County: (2,564 items) U.S. Bank (Main Street, White Plains), Scottsville Police Department, Crocker Animal Hospital

Barren County: (844 items) RR Donnelley, U.S. Bank (Cave City, Main Street, Wall Street), ARC of Barren County

Butler County: (9,150 items) Butler County Water District, Butler County Middle School, Corvac Composites, Morgantown Bank & Trust

Hart County: (902 items)

Logan County: (4,245 items) Auburn Banking Company, BB&T, Emerson Electric, First Southern Bank, Logan Aluminum, Logan Memorial Hospital, Pearce Memorial United Methodist Church, U.S. Bank (Auburn, Russellville), Ventra Plastics

Simpson County: (9,000 items) 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: (more than 70,000 items) AFNI, BB&T (8 branches), BGMU, BKD LLP, Bowling Green High School Student United Way, Bowling Green-Warren County Bar Association, CGS Machine & Tool, Citizens First (5 branches), Connected Nation, ELPO, First Southern Bank, Fruit of the Loom, Georgia Pacific – Dixie, Graves Gilbert Clinic, Hills Pet Nutrition Inc, Hitcents, Hospice of Southern Kentucky, Houchens Industries, LORD Corporation, Martin Kia, Morgantown Bank & Company, Oakland Mt. Zion Baptist Church, PBI Bank, S&K Powder Coating, South Central Bank (5 locations), Trace Die Cast, U.S. Bank (5 locations), Warren County Water District, WKU Athletics, WKU Student Activities, WKU Potter Hall, and Warren RECC; also special thanks to Hill Motley Lumber Company.

For the third year in a row, Fruit of the Loom collected the most items of all organizations, delivering almost 30,000 items to The Salvation Army. Also to be noted, Butler County/ Simpson County/ Warren County Water Districts collected a combined more than 21,700 items - from an employee base of approximately 60 - as part of their drive to be split equally between the three counties.

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, The International Center, 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.