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Food For Families

The Knights of Columbus is committed to ending hunger in our local communities by asking local Councils, Assemblies, and Squire Circles to participate in the Order-wide Food for Families Program.  Since 2012, the Knights of Columbus has donated over $2.7 million and 3.8 million pounds of food to local food pantries, community food banks, and soup kitchens.

As we begin the 2014-2015 Columbian year, I would like to thank all the Councils, Assemblies, and Squire Circles for their diligence and laborious efforts in providing tens of thousands of pounds of much needed food via our Food for Families program last year.  The Knights of Columbus continues to assist in lessening the sting of hunger in our communities.  The economy continues to lag, unemployment remains rampant, and the exorbitant cost of living in California refuses to diminish in intensity.  The California mantra for many families is “Heat or Eat” forcing people to make tough decisions on whether to eat or pay the bills.

The Food for Families Program is now in its fifth year of operation in California.  California has donated several million pounds of food since the enactment of the Food for Families Program.  Brother Knights your commitment continues to reduce hunger in many California communities while improving the lives of many citizens in our parishes and neighborhoods.

Unfortunately hunger is on the rise across America.  Statistics for 2014 are alarming:

  • In California alone over six million citizens are food insecure of which one-third are children.
  • 48 million Americans are food insecure across the USA.
  • 20 million American children go to bed hungry in the USA.
  • 3 million Veterans suffer from hunger monthly.

Hunger is no longer a Third World malady.  Although hunger is present in our communities, it should not be tolerated by our society.  The Knights of Columbus are in a unique position to combat hunger in our parishes and our neighborhoods.  As Knights, we have the perfect vehicle through our Councils, Assemblies, Squire Circles, and Parishes to respond to the demand for food in our communities.  Supreme views this as such a critical program that they will continue to reimburse those Councils in 2014-2015 who continue to donate food and/or monies to food pantries, food banks, and soup kitchens.

Action Steps

  • Contact your local parish, food pantry, community food bank, or soup kitchen to ensure they will be able to receive food donations and inquire if they have any specific needs.
  • Obtain permission from the appropriate person (pastor, business owner(s), etc.) to set up the food drive at the church or store, and to display posters.
  • Ask the pastor for permission to make an announcement before or after Mass about the Food Drive.
  • Be sure to include a written announcement in the parish bulletin and have flyers available for distribution.

Supreme Rebates

To encourage local Councils, Assemblies, and Squire Circles to participate in this worthwhile program, the Supreme Council offers financial rebates to Councils, Assemblies, and/or Squires Circles that participate in the program.  For Councils or Assemblies, the Supreme Council will refund $100 for every $500 donated or for every 1,000 pounds of food that a Council or Assembly contributes to a parish food pantry, community food bank, or soup kitchen (up to a maximum of $500 per Council or Assembly per fraternal year).  Circles will receive a refund from the Supreme Council of $20 for every $100 donated, or every 100 pounds of food that is contributed (up to a maximum refund of $100 per circle per fraternal year).  Reported contributions of food and/or monetary donations should be cumulative for the fraternal year.  There is no need to send in a refund request every time a contribution is made; however, to be eligible for the rebate, the cumulative total of contributions of food and money needs to at a minimum of $500 or 1,000 pounds of food for Councils or Assemblies, and a minimum of $100 or 100 pounds of food for Circles.  Food for Families donations must be validated via a receipt signed by the receiving organization.

In addition, the Supreme Council recognizes that participating in this program can be time consuming for the local Council.  Should a Council choose to participate in this program, this will fulfill all four of the Family Activity requirements for the Columbian Award.  In order for a Council to qualify as fulfilling all four requirements, the Council must collect and donate a minimum of 1,000 pounds of food and Council members must contribute a minimum of 100 man-hours in the program.

Program Chairman