Johnson County Feed the Need kicks off this week

Johnson County’s 2011 Feed the Need campaign — which benefits county food pantries including the De Soto Multi-Service Center — kicks off Wednesday, June 8, with an outdoor celebration.

The “Fun in the Sun” food collecting event is planned for 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the square outside the Johnson County Courthouse, 100 S. Kansas Ave., Olathe. The kickoff event features food, games, craft sales, drawings for prizes, donation opportunities and live entertainment. As in years past, platform-sitters at the dunk tank will include county leaders and department heads.

The 2011 campaign goal has been set at 187 tons of food, matching last year’s record, in either cash or food donations. Each donated dollar is roughly equivalent to four pounds of food.

“Feed the Need is an important fund-raising campaign by Johnson County Government and serves an important role to the Johnson County community,” John Bartolac, county records and tax administration department director and co-chairman of the 2011 campaign, said in a news release. “There is a critical need to keep up with increasing requests for food assistance at our local food pantries by citizens and families in need. Unfortunately, it’s a need that’s not going away.”

Co-chairman Nick Crossley, director of Johnson County Emergency Management and Homeland Security, said the county’s effort traditionally provides about a third of the annual food distributed by the 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. County government has collected more than three million pounds of donations for local pantries since the program began.

Feed the Need is a regional effort coordinated by the Mid-America Regional Council, the Mid-America Assistance Coalition and Harvesters International.


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