By: Debbie Hills - iReporter Email
By: Debbie Hills - iReporter Email

United Way of Southern Kentucky (UWSK) collected 52,030 items in a region wide food drive titled “Feed the Need” across Allen, Barren, Logan, Simpson, and Warren counties that ran February 1st – March 17th.

“Feed the Need” was created in 2009 in response to the increased need in Southern Kentucky communities for resources. After speaking with the local food pantries that benefited from the drive in previous years, it became abundantly clear that the need for this drive continued in 2012. Since it’s inception in 2009, “Feed the Need” has collected 199,280 items for local food pantries to be distributed to individuals and families in need in Southern Kentucky.

This year, 112 companies and organizations in Allen, Barren, Logan, Simpson and Warren Counties participated by holding internal food drives February 1st -March 16th (40 more companies and organizations participated in 2012 than in 2011). Participating companies and organizations included:
Allen County: U.S. Bank (2 locations), JM Smucker Company, Halton, South Central Bank, Edmonton State Bank (2 locations)

Barren County: U.S. Bank (3 locations), Citizens First Bank (2 locations), RR Donnelley, BB&T (3 locations), Barren County High School, Federal Mogul, Bowling Green Technical College - Glasgow Campus

Logan County: U.S. Bank (2 locations), Logan County Chamber of Commerce, Ventra Plastics
BB&T, Logan Aluminum

Simpson County: U.S. Bank, Citizens First Bank, Franklin Simpson Chamber Community Health Fair, Warren County Water District, Luvata, Franklin Bank & Trust, South Central Bank, Bowling Green Technical College - Franklin Campus, Franklin Municipal Utilities

Warren County: Atmos Energy, BB&T (8 locations), BGHS Youth Service Center and Future Educators of America, BGMU, Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, Bowling Green Independent Schools - Central Office, Bowling Green Metalforming, Bowling Green Networking Women, Bowling Green Police Department, Bowling Green Technical College, Bowling Green Technical College - HOSA Club, Camping World, Canteen Service Company, CGS Machine & Tool, Citizens First Bank (4 locations), City of Bowling Green - City Hall, Connected Nation, DCBS - Protection & Permanency, Dillards - Lancome Counter, English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, Franklin Bank & Trust, Fruit of the Loom, General Motors, Georgia Pacific, Graves Gilbert Clinic, Greenview Regional Hospital, Hill's Pet Nutrition,, Inc, Holley Performance Products, Kapstone Paper, LORD Corporation, LuLu's Consignment Shop, MH Equipment, Oakland Mt Zion Baptist Church, PNC Bank - Russellville Road, Social Security Administration, South Central Bank (6 locations), Southern Foods, Trace Die Cast, TVA Bowling Green Customer Service Center, U.S. Bank (5 locations), Valspar, Walgreen's, Warren County Attorney's Office, Warren County Water District, Warren County Public Schools - Central Office, WCPS: North Warren Elementary School, WCPS: Plano Elementary, WCPS: Richardsville Elementary, WCPS: Richpond Elementary, WCPS: William H Natcher Elementary, WKU - Gordon Ford College of Business, WKU - Raymond B. Preston Health and Activities Center, WKU - Theta Iota Chapter - Alpha Gamma Delta, WKU Academic Affairs, WKU Athletics, WKU Campus & Community Events, WKU Campus Childcare, WRECC

“Feed the Need” is one of the largest volunteer events that United Way of Southern Kentucky organizes each year. This year, 803 total volunteers helped Feed the Need by coordinating internal company and organization food drives, passing out flyers, and managing donations at all Houchens, Save-A-Lot, IGA, Kroger, Food Lion, Piggly Wiggly, Dollar General Markets, and Wal-Mart store locations (36 total locations) in the 5 participating counties Friday, March 16th 10am-6pm and Saturday March 17th 9am-1pm. Volunteers also helped to sort and package donations at the main drop off and sorting site in each county during this time. 205 more volunteers helped to “Feed the Need” in 2012 than in 2011.

All donations will 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, Community Relief Fund, Good Samaritan of Logan and Simpson Counties, The International Center, and The Salvation Army. 48 Allen County volunteers collected 2055 items for Allen County food banks; 117 volunteers collected 13,078 items for Barren County (an increase of 1,089 items over 2011); 58 volunteers collected 3,700 items for Logan County (an increase of 1,377 items over 2011); 62 volunteers collected 3,625 items for Simpson County (an increase of 1,302 items over 2011); and 518 volunteers collected 29,572 items for Warren County. In 2011, 58,078 items were collected to help “Feed the Need”.

Debbie Hills, Interim President of United Way of Southern Kentucky, says, “The support for Feed the Need over the past few weeks has been tremendous. From more than 100 company and group food drives to the hundreds of volunteers at the stores and food collection sites to the thousands of people donating, our community once again exhibited a truly generous and caring spirit. Many, many lives will be touched by the community’s outpouring of kindness.”

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the United Way office for more information at 270-843-3205 or log onto the United Way of Southern Kentucky website at

WBKO 2727 Russellville Road Bowling Green, KY 42101-3976 Phone: 270-781-1313 After Hours Hotline: 270-781-6397 Fax: 270-781-1814
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