2019 FFH elementary drive winner

Curtis Newland of WQIO, right, and Dave Stuller talk with a 2019 top donor. As in years past, the top donor from each school will be featured on the 2020 live video stream at www.mvnu.tv.

MOUNT VERNON — The 2020 Central Knox County Food For The Hungry school drive is underway with the help of Psi Iota Xi Sorority. All donations benefit the 39th annual drive and stay in the community in which they are collected.

Mount Vernon area classrooms, as well as Centerburg, Danville, East Knox, and Fredericktown elementary schools, will join the sorority’s collection efforts, and each will be supplied with collection boxes.  The drive started yesterday and will continue through Friday, Nov. 20.  

Psi Iota Xi Sorority has participated in Food For The Hungry for close to 39 years.

“Our whole purpose is very simple, as far as a sorority goes,” sorority member Sandra Fithian told WNZR's Marcy Rinehart. “Our main purpose is to further philanthropic enterprises. We have always been active as volunteers within the schools for most of our years, so we were probably a common-sense choice to oversee the food drive in the elementary schools.”

This year, as in the past, Psi Iota Xi will treat the classroom in each participating school that contributes the highest number of food items per student to a pizza party. Although nonperishable food donations are welcome, cash donations are encouraged because each $1 donated is equivalent to $10 of buying power through the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. Checks should be made payable to Food For The Hungry.

The top donor from each school will be honored in the Food For The Hungry broadcast at the Knox County Memorial Building on Friday, Dec. 11.  The students will be recognized on the live video stream at www.mvnu.tv, as well as on 100.9 FM and 13WMVO, with reports given on WNZR and 93.7 the Super Q. 

“This unusual and devastating year for so many in our country has infiltrated right into our own homes throughout the county,” said Fithian. “So many families have lost their incomes, or a portion of their income, since early in this pandemic. Families that haven't experienced food insecurities in the past are realizing just how difficult it can be to sustain their standard of living. So more than ever, we know that our community members who have been so generous in the past will give again for those who are less advantaged, and we know the parents are teaching their children what it means to give back.”

Needed food items include the following:

  • Canned meat such as chicken and tuna
  • Beef stew
  • Hearty soups
  • Canned pasta
  • Boxed dinners
  • Peanut butter
  • Spaghetti and spaghetti sauce
  • Cereal
  • Noodles, pasta, rice, and instant potatoes
  • Canned fruits and vegetables

“Almost everything all of us have in our pantries could be donated,” said Fithian.

Fithian said the sorority wants parents to help make the food drive a teaching experience at home.

“We ask the parents to please explain why it's important to make a donation and explain where the donations go and who benefits from them,” she said. “If there's a real-life experience that they have been involved with in some way or supported by the community, share that with the students as well, especially the youngest philanthropists in our schools, who may not understand our world as it's currently operating in this time of pandemic.

“We want to let them know that God loves us, God loves our community,” she continued. “No one should have to suffer, even if it means giving up a portion of our own treasures. That's the life lesson in all of this: Nobody's ever too young to start giving.”

All food and donations will be distributed through Interchurch Social Services and The Salvation Army to meet the needs of the community. For more information on the 2020 Food For The Hungry Drive, make a donation, or volunteer, go to foodforthehungrycares.org.

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