Johnson County Government's employee-led Feed the Need campaign helped fill the shelves of 10 Johnson County food pantries, raising nearly 366,000 pounds of food. The goal this year was 325,000 pounds.
Brad Reinhardt, director of Facilities and Maintenance, and Brian Pietig, director of Public Works/county engineer, served as chairs for the 2016 Feed the Need and made ceremonial check presentations at the Aug. 18 Board of County Commissioners meeting to representatives from the Feed the Need recipient agencies (pictured above). Six food pantries are located in county-operated multi-service centers. The other four recipients are Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, First Christian Church of Olathe, the Shawnee Community Services Center and the Salvation Army Olathe Corps.
The annual food drive campaign collects donations that directly benefit food pantries serving Johnson County citizens. The campaign first started in 1987 when the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office made a small donation to a Shawnee food pantry. Former employee Rick Beckwith saw the need to turn this effort into a county-wide effort.
Feed the Need hosted two fundraising events this year that included food booths, prize drawings and games. Employee events throughout the year that supported the effort included bake sales, a golf tournament, a chili cook-off and a 5K walk/run.
Since the program started, Johnson County Government has collected more than three million pounds of donations for local pantries.