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County people can join million-dollar fight against hunger

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By The Staff

Money, food collected here stays here; officials eye increased goal

PERRY COUNTY - For the 11th straight year, Alan Shawn Feinstein will divide $1 million among hunger-fighting agencies nationwide, using it to help them raise funds during March and April.

The money will be divided proportionately among all agencies meeting requirements set forth by the Feinstein Foundation.

Feinstein's past $1 million challenges to fight hunger have raised a record $760 million for agencies nationwide.

The Perry County Food Coalition will join with the Feinstein Foundation to meet the needs of the hungry in this area. During March and April, the public has the opportunity to support local food pantries and have their donations matched by the Feinstein Foundation.

Members of the public are asked to support this effort by contributing to food drives with nonperishable food items or monetary donations. Anyone who wishes to donate food and cannot locate a food drive can call Catholic Charities at 547-0903 to make arrangements to drop off the food. Those wishing to donate money can mail it to Perry County Food Coalition, c/o United Way of Perry County, P.O. Box 73, Tell City, IN 47586.

A new feature this year will be a "Castles of Cans" challenge to all business, church and youth groups, who are invited to conduct food drives during March and April. Those groups can take their items to the National Guard armory April 26, where they will design a structure out of the cans they've collected. Wal-Mart will award prizes in various categories. The challenge is being conducted by Wal-Mart, United Way and Catholic Charities. Businesses and other organizations that would like to participate in a food drive or the "Castles of Cans" or that need more information should contact Rebecca Fenn at the United Way of Perry County, 547-2577 or unitedwayperry@psci.net.

"All food and money raised in Perry County will stay in Perry County to feed our hungry neighbors," said Joan Hess, agency director for the Catholic Charities Tell City office. "In 2007, the Perry County Food Coalition raised an extra $3,229 during this same time period. In 2008, our goal is to increase that amount by 10 percent, bringing it to a 2008 goal of $3,552."

Members of the Perry County Food Coalition are Martin's Cloak Food Pantry in Siberia; Jasper's Food for the Needy in Cannelton; Widow's Barrel Food Pantry, Council of Agencies, and Adventist Community Services in Tell City, Catholic Charities in Tell City and the United Way of Perry County. All participating pantries share equally in food and money raised during the challenge months, Hess said.