2014 Souper Bowl of Caring helps tackle hunger in Montgomery County

Kroger check presentation - April 2014 - 20140424_103507

Erica Lunn, Kroger Co. I Consumer Affairs Specialist presents $43, 721.65 check to Montgomery County Food Bank representatives: Chris Tilotta, Inventory Manager; Sarah Redfield, Sponsorship & Events Manager; Annmari Cooper, Vice President of Finance; and Rodney Dickerson, President.

The 2014 Souper Bowl of Caring, an annual fundraiser hosted by Kroger, brought in record donations of $43, 721.65 in cash and approximately 51,260 pounds of food for the Montgomery County Food Bank. Kroger customers throughout the area are encouraged to donate money and/or purchase prepackaged bags of food.

“The Food Bank relies on the generosity of everyone in our community to help those in need,” said Annmari Cooper, Vice President of Finance,” adding “Needs are much greater now than just a few years ago. The Food Bank distributed 7.1 million pounds of food in 2013 compared to our total pound distribution of a little over 2 million pounds in 2008.”

Once the Food Bank is able to move into its new facility in a few weeks, they will have the room to bring in and distribute larger numbers of pounds to the hungry in Montgomery County.

“Right now in our 10,000 square feet of warehouse space,” Cooper said, “we have been able to distribute record breaking amounts of food. In our new 60,000 square feet of warehouse, we will be able to increase those numbers as Montgomery County continues to grow by leaps and bounds, and the food insecurity continues to rise.

We also will be able to increase the number of volunteer activities. With our current location we can host approximately 20 volunteers at one time. Some of those having to work out in the heat and cold under a tent. At our new facility, we will be able to host about 100 volunteers at a time, between our new general sort room and our backpack/senior sort room. We will also have a volunteer lounge where groups can bring in lunches and enjoy their time volunteering with us.

In about a year or less, we will also have volunteer opportunities in our new neighborhood garden. This is still in the planning stages but will be an exciting addition to bring back to our facility. With this we will be able to provide pantries with the freshest produce available to supplement the other food items we provide them currently, and right from our back yard.

We could not do this without the help of all of our donors and volunteers.”