Last weekend I had the pleasure of helping with the food bank fund raiser Kyle’s family hosted on their family farm! I remember sitting in a beach cottage with these women last April and listening to them talk about this when it was still just an “idea” that everyone thought would be awesome to create and bring to life. Seeing it come full circle was seriously amazing, and I think we all learned so much about Feeding America and what it’s really about.
It took months of planning, weeks of preparing, and then just a few days to set up! We had lots of hands, donations, and help – it was wonderful! Kyle’s uncle owns the property we had the fund raiser on and stopped everything so we could take up his shelter to set up! Hay barrels were donated for the night, pumpkins, plants, and so so so much time from so many people!
Cheese balls shaped like pine cones and covered in almonds = cutest fall snack idea EVER.
The centerpieces were pumpkins with cans of water and sunflowers, and then 2 mason jars with corn and little tealight candles! It was seriously adorable. We used craft paper to wrap the tables and then Kyle’s mom and grandma put together these polka dot table runners. SO CUTE. It was so adorable when it all came together!
The whole purpose of this fund raiser was to raise awareness about our own county (we focused on Northampton county, NC) and what the statistics were, where we could donate, and what we could do to help our community and our people – close to home! I learned a lot about the community through helping with this project, reading the material, and meeting the representatives from the Food Bank of the Albemarle.
Northampton County is part of the Northeast NC Albemarle area. It’s a pretty large county (#33 in the top 100 largest counties in NC!) With its population around 22 thousand. The unemployment rate is 7.7% which just goes to show you – people are working! But being in an area where most work opportunities are in agriculture, it’s hard to find work outside of that, that will bring in enough income. And it’s considered a “food desert” which means that nutritious food is hard to get to – especially for those without vehicles or those with disabilities. Residents in most of this county’s small towns will tell you – the closest grocery store is 20-40 minutes away!! Otherwise, you’re grocery shopping at the nearest Family Dollar or gas station!
29.4% of children in this county go to bed hungry every night. And 25% of these children come from families that aren’t even eligible for federal nutrition assistance! That’s insane!!
Kyle’s mom got these little spreaders and tied these sweet notes around them as party favors!!
People filled up their can invitations with coins they collected!!
With Feeding America, .97 of your dollar goes toward actually feeding America. And for every dollar donated, you’re providing 4 meals!! Isn’t that crazy?? Another things that’s worth knowing – one deer can provide 160 meals. ONE. one. Just one. That’s huge!! The Food Bank gets tons of produce and canned goods, but they struggle with protein donations. That’s just something they don’t get a lot of, so if you’re a hunter and looking for ways to give back, keep that in mind!
For the party, we had a little chili cook-off. A few pots, sour cream, jalapenos, chips, hot sauce, crackers – the whole sha-bang! We had appetizers and desserts set up on two tailgates (which was really cute, by the way.)
They even came up with an ice-breaker game, a “guess how many quarters are in the jar” game (which was then donated!) and everyone made their own name tags!
We created a little trivia game for everyone to participate in,too. We all teamed up with those seated at our tables, and it started with fun questions from Trivial Pursuit. Then we laid out the facts, talked about the statistics, and got real about what we were trying to accomplish.
Cans as decoration = cheap and 100% part of the theme!!
Disclaimer: No food was wasted in the making of these fundraiser decorations! 😝
Candy bouquets for game winners!
Our awesome speaker, Rod!
And the 4 incredible ladies that started this whole thing!!
The totals for our event were incredible! It’s really rewarding to see the outcome of all our hard work in putting this together and trying to get this message across to the people in this community. We collected 212 pounds of food which equals out to 177 meals. The monetary donations were $397.10 in cash and $1,045 in checks (plus the $130.15 from the jar of quarters!) which gave us a grand total of $1,572.25! With The Food Bank of the Albemarle’s purchasing power, they will be able to purchase 7,861 pounds of food – the equivalent of 6,551 meals.
Outside of the food and money we collected as donations, we were able to raise awareness in the people of our communities – some of which, are serious pillars in the community, and can really make a huge difference with the power they hold in our local governments, schools, churches, and businesses!
If you’re interested in doing something like this for your community, go to FeedingAmerica.org and click on ways to give! There are tons of ways to donate, start fundraising, and more! And then you can click on find a food bank to find a food bank near you. You can explore more of their website for more facts and information on their organization itself, and you’ll see just how much good they do for the entire country!