County food drive going global
A "Global Gams," otherwise known as a sexy legs contest, polka lessons, international cuisines and just plain worldwide fun took center stage last Thursday in the public kickoff celebration of Johnson County government's Feed the Need campaign in Olathe.
The campaign theme is "Giving to All: 2006 Feed the Need Celebrates Cultures from Around the World." The fund-raising, food-collecting event has set a goal to collect 120 tons of food in either cash or food donations to benefit 10 Johnson County food pantries.
Johnson County's Feed the Need started in 1987 with one county department and the collection of less than one ton of food. Last year, the county collected more than 121.7 tons with a goal set at 115 tons.
The county has been a lead participating organization in the annual metropolitan Feed the Need campaign since 1988.
Feed the Need is a regional effort coordinated by the Mid-America Regional Council, the Mid-America Assistance Coalition and Harvesters International.
All donations collected in the 2006 food drive will benefit 10 eligible food pantries serving eligible Johnson County citizens. The pantries include:
¢De Soto Multi-Service Center
¢Blue Valley Multi-Service Center in Overland Park
¢Spring Hill Multi-Service Center
¢North-Central Multi-Service Center in Lenexa
¢Gardner-Edgerton Coordinating Council
¢Shawnee Community Services
¢Catholic Community Services, Mission and Olathe
¢Salvation Army and First Christian Church, both in Olathe
County automated information mapping system director Jay Heerman and director of justice information management systems director Tim Mulcahyare served as campaign co-chairmen.
The 2006 campaign is dedicated to the late Rick Beckwith, a longtime active supporter of the annual food drive, including serving as the 1993 chairman. He was a 27-year employee of the facilities department when he died in April 2004 at age 51.
The county's annual Feed the Need campaigns since his death have been dedicated in his memory.