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Kentucky Food Banks’ Dollars For Doers Challenge Seeks to Fill Volunteer Gap, Raise Funds Across the State

·6 min read

Anthem Foundation will match every hour volunteered at Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland; Dare to Care Food Bank; or God’s Pantry Food Bank with a $10 donation

LOUISVILLE, Ky., September 01, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Facing a looming volunteer shortage this fall, Kentucky’s three largest food banks are putting out a call for help. Dare to Care Food Bank; Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland; and God’s Pantry Food Bank estimate that they will collectively need about 10,000 volunteer hours each month to help sort, pack, and distribute food to families in 100 Kentucky counties. But at current volunteer rates, they will fall short by more than half.

To fill the volunteer gap and raise needed funds, the food banks have partnered with the Anthem Foundation to issue the Dollars For Doers Challenge to every Kentuckian. Now through December 31, the Anthem Foundation will match every hour volunteered at any of the three food banks with a $10 donation.

"When the pandemic hit in March 2020, our volunteer base made up mostly of retired seniors and school-aged children quickly disappeared," said Jamie Sizemore, Executive Director of Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland. "Our annual volunteer base prior to the pandemic was equivalent to 11 full time staff members. Volunteers are critical to our mission of feeding our hungry neighbors, especially during the fall when we always see an increase in need."

The challenge builds off a successful challenge last year when Louisville-based Dare to Care raised concerns over a COVID-related volunteer shortage in its 13-county Kentuckiana service area. The food bank and the Anthem Foundation issued the Dollars For Doers Challenge and the community responded in a big way, generating a 61 percent increase in volunteer hours and a 38 percent increase in new volunteers.

"Food banks saw an unprecedented surge in food insecurity when the pandemic began. At Dare to Care, we kept pace with this surge only because the community stepped up their support," said Brian Riendeau, Dare to Care’s executive director. "Anthem Foundation’s partnership with Dollars for Doers was critical for us and the families we serve last year. We’re thrilled for this partnership to renew and help us meet the continuing high levels of need."

This year, the Anthem Foundation is expanding the Dollars For Doers Challenge, calling on Kentuckians across the Commonwealth to volunteer at their local God’s Pantry; Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland; or Dare to Care food bank and earn a $10 food bank donation for every hour they do. A family of four, for example, can generate $120 in matching funds through a three-hour volunteer shift.

"God’s Pantry Food Bank is thrilled to be joining forces with the Anthem Foundation as they expand their Dollars for Doers Challenge across the Commonwealth," said Food Bank CEO Michael Halligan. "We see communities caring for those experiencing hunger every day and we know many volunteers throughout Kentucky will lean in to help fight hunger with their time and the matching dollars that Anthem will provide."

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky and the Anthem Foundation have made tackling food insecurity a top priority as part of their mission to improve lives and communities. The organizations have committed $2.2 million to Kentucky food insecurity efforts since the start of the pandemic, including a $1.5 million three-year commitment made earlier this year to fund hundreds of mobile food pantry events and distribute millions of pounds of food throughout Kentucky.

"The Challenge is a powerful way for people to engage because every dollar donated translates into three or even up to eight meals thanks to the food banks’ purchasing power," said Dr. Jeff Reynolds, medical director for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky. "Now through December 31, every hour volunteered has double the impact in helping our neighbors avoid going hungry."

All the food banks have taken necessary measures to assure volunteer safety using the recommended CDC guidelines.

To participate in the Dollars For Doers Challenge, simply sign up to volunteer at any of the food bank centers or mobile food pantries that Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland, God’s Pantry, and Dare to Care operate throughout Kentucky and southern Indiana. The Anthem Foundation will automatically match every hour volunteered with a $10 donation to the food bank. Find more information at:

Date to Care Food Bank: Volunteer.DaretoCare.org or call (502) 966-3821.
God’s Pantry Food Bank: GodsPantry.org/getinvolved or call (859) 288-5319.
Feeding America Food Bank: FeedingAmericaky.org/volunteer or call (270)-735-1407.

About Dare to Care

Dare to Care food Bank is a local nonprofit agency with a mission to lead the community to feed the hungry and conquer the cycle of need. In the past twelve months, Dare to Care distributed over 23 million meals in eight Kentucky and five Indiana counties. For more information, visit www.daretocare.org.

About Feeding America, Kentucky’s Hartland

Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland (FAKH) is a regional food bank that provides assistance to more than 223,000 people in 42 counties each year. Through support from individuals and organizations, FAKH distributes more than 20 million pounds of food to approximately 230 food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. FAKH also sponsors various hunger relief programs including the BackPack™ Program and the Senior Box Program (CSFP). FAKH’s main office and warehouses are located on Peterson Drive in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. For more information, visit feedingamericaky.org.

About God’s Pantry Food Bank

The mission of God’s Pantry Food Bank is to reduce hunger by working together to feed Kentucky communities. Working through more than 450 food pantries and meal programs the Food Bank serves 50 counties of Central and Eastern Kentucky. God’s Pantry Food Bank distributed nearly 41.8 million pounds of food to nearly 200,000 individuals, including more than 12 million pounds of fresh produce in fiscal year 2021. For more information visit us at www.godspantryfoodbank.org.

About Anthem Foundation

The Anthem Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc. and through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes the organization’s commitment to improving lives and communities. Through strategic partnerships and programs, the Foundation addresses the social drivers that will help create a healthier generation of Americans in communities that Anthem, Inc. and its affiliated health plans serve. The Foundation focuses its funding on critical initiatives that make up its Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets: maternal health, diabetes prevention, cancer prevention, heart health and healthy, active lifestyles, behavioral health efforts and programs that benefit people with disabilities. To learn more about the Anthem Foundation, please visit http://www.anthem.foundation and its blog at https://medium.com/anthemfoundation.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210901005122/en/

Contacts

Misty Beard, God’s Pantry
859-288-5327
mbeard@godspantry.org

Stan Siegwald, Dare to Care
502-741-3565
stan@daretocare.org

Jamie Sizemore, Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland
270-769-6997
jsizemore@feedingamericaky.org

Jeff Blunt, Anthem
513-315-1145
Jeff.Blunt@Anthem.com