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Johnson County Government employees fill food pantry shelves

Johnson County Government’s Feed the Need campaign will help fill the shelves of 10 Johnson County food pantries. This year’s effort raised more than 314,000 pounds of food plus an additional nearly $77,000.

Deborah Collins, Johnson County Human Services director and Jill Geller, Johnson County Park & Recreation District executive director, made ceremonial check presentations today to representatives from the Feed the Need recipient agencies. 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.

“We are amazed at the generosity of the county,” said Mina Foster, case manager for the Salvation Army Olathe Corps. “What you’ve done is more than feed a family. You are keeping people in their homes…people who have to choose between spending money on food and utilities or rent.”

Feed the Need is an annual Johnson County Government employee campaign that directly benefits food pantries serving Johnson County citizens. It 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 countywide 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 and a 5K walk/run.

Since the program has begun, County Government has collected more than three million pounds of donations for local pantries and has become the leading participant in the annual metropolitan Feed the Need campaign since 1988. Feed the Need is a regional effort coordinated by the Mid-America Regional Council, the Mid-America Assistance Coalition, and Harvesters International