About 25 to 30 teams of volunteers will be canvassing neighborhoods throughout Lewis County this Saturday in search of previously distributed paper bags containing non-perishable food items as part of the annual Walk-N-Knock organized by the Lewis County Food Bank Coalition.
Chehalis resident Rick Borovec will be among the key coordinators of the countywide initiative that will start signing up additional volunteers at 8:30 a.m. Saturday in hopes of collecting 24,000 bags of food by 5:30 p.m.
“We mail out 8,000 bags in Centralia; we do about 12,000 in Chehalis and there’s another thousand in Napavine and another thousand in Winlock-Toledo,” said Borovec, who went on to mention that volunteers will also be picking up food donations from dropbox sites in the aforementioned areas and other parts of the county, such as Morton, Pe Ell, Onalaska and Rochester.
The goal, he said, would be to amass 75,000-80,000-pounds of food that will be delivered to the Greater Chehalis Food Bank, located at 750 SW 21st Street, as various allotments of the haul will later be distributed to the coalition’s other food banks.
That amount would be enough to not only sustain needy individuals and families through the holiday season, but for the next three to four months as well, Borovec said.
The many charitable groups that will be contributing to this year’s Walk-N-Knock include the Centralia Lions Club, the Salvation Army, the Civil Air Patrol, the Boy Scouts from Troop 373 and local rotary organizations, among others.
Contributing participants entrusted with the food collection, added Borovec, will report to either the Greater Chehalis Food Bank or Centralia’s Salvation Army site, located at 303 Gold St. From there, the volunteers will be divided into teams of 3 or 4 that will each be assigned a specific route in the mission of finding all the food they can along their travels.
“And that’s only half the battle,” said Borovec — a coalition spokesperson and mortgage loan officer at Washington State Employees Credit Union (WSECU). “Then you have to sort out and box all the food that comes into (the Centralia and Chehalis stations) and it’s quite a project.”
As far as Centralia residents who haven’t been furnished with coalition bags and are looking to make a food donation, he suggested that they purchase one at their local Safeway or Shop’n Kart locations.
“What’s really cool is when you get to see all these different people from different walks of life who come together to help pull this off,” observed Borovec. “It’s quite an endeavor to send out groups of people who come back with bags of food and checks made out to the coalition. You see that turn into boxes and pallets of food that you know is going to be able to sustain people through some tough times in the next few months. It’s pretty hard to describe the feeling that you get — it’s great.”