Despite snow, Walk & Knock will walk forward; volunteers needed

There's never been a cancellation, leader says

By Scott Hewitt, Columbian social issues & neighborhoods reporter

Published:

Updated: December 6, 2013, 8:45 PM

 

Snow or rain, sleet or slush, Clark County’s biggest annual food drive will go on Saturday. That’s according to Interservice Walk & Knock president Roxie Olson.

“We’ve done it in snow and cold before. We may end up having fewer volunteers, but we’ll still do it,” she said. “We’ve never cancelled. The fact is, the amount of time and energy it takes all year to get to this one day of service, it would be really hard to cancel. We’ll do the best we can with what we have.”

Since the mid-1980s, Walk & Knock has been held on the first Saturday in December. Starting at 9 a.m., thousands of volunteers scour the streets for food donations, which are collected and trucked to the central Clark County Food Bank and its smaller satellite food pantries. Those food donations help hungry Clark County residents make it through the winter.

The need is greater than ever, food pantry workers have said, because of recent reductions in food stamps that have hit every recipient nationwide. Hungry families are using up their food stamp benefits faster and turning to food pantries to make up the difference.

Olson encouraged donors to place nonperishable food outside, beside mailboxes or front doors, so it can be collected quickly, rather than waiting for volunteers to come knock on the door.

That’s one way Walk & Knock doesn’t quite fit its name — the knocking part, while neighborly, costs time. Given the challenging weather, Olson wants to keep things moving.

She also wants to encourage all her volunteers — especially the littlest ones — to bundle up and be safe.

Even at this late hour, volunteers are still needed and welcome. Call 877-99-KNOCK (877-995-6625) or visit http://walkandknock.org to learn more.