MOUNT VERNON — Donations continued to roll in for the 2017 Food For the Hungry drive with an astonishing total. Lisa Mazzari, drive coordinator, and Joe Rinehart, FFTH board president, announced the final total Tuesday of $341, 818.
“This generous total is an opportunity to address some short and long-term goals for Interchurch, the Salvation Army and other food assistance initiatives around Knox County,” said Rinehart. “ This total is also a strong message from our community that they truly believe in working together to care for our neighbors. It’s now our board’s task to make the best use of these funds. We’ve got some creative and thoughtful people around the table and we’re listening to the agencies and their needs. I’m beyond excited about what we can do together in 2018.”
The executive board set a goal of $200,000 for the drive and watched the numbers climb during the Dec. 9, 2017, broadcast at the Knox County Memorial Building Theater. At the end of the broadcast, $313,691 was raised in cash donations along with 12 truckloads of food.
Of the $200,000 goal, the board has committed $84,000 each to Interchurch Social Services and The Salvation Army. The $20,000 allocated for grants was distributed on Dec. 9 in addition to a last-minute grant of $1,500. The board has also voted to secure 6 percent of funding for operational expenses.
Food donations were distributed evenly between Interchurch and The Salvation Army.
A meeting of the executive board is scheduled for Monday to determine how best to utilize the additional $141,818 that was raised above the goal.