Walk & Knock works to get word out

Collection drive for Clark County food bank is Saturday

By Patty Hastings, Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith



Walk & Knock

 Nonperishable food items can be placed in specially marked Walk & Knock bags or any bags.

 Place bags on porch by 9 a.m. Saturday. Pick-ups will be made by 4 p.m.

 For more information or to donate money online, go to www.walkandknock.org.

Every year on the first Saturday in December, volunteers go door-to-door collecting food donations for the Clark County Food Bank. And, every year, the board for Walk & Knock tries new ways to get the word out and make the food drive as successful as it can be.

“Educate and remind are kind of our two big missions this week,” said board member Tom Knappenberger.

He’s been involved in Walk & Knock about 20 years, more so the last few years. He’s watched collection numbers go up and down after peaking in 2010 at 332,000 pounds. Last year, people donated more than 228,000 pounds of food, and Knappenberger said every year the goal is to outdo the previous year. He spent Monday morning putting out signs around the Salmon Creek area, reminding people to put out a bag of nonperishable food on their doorstep before 9 a.m. Saturday.

“It’s one way to get the word out,” Knappenberger said.

There are other ways Walk & Knock tries to drum up more involvement, particularly during this time of year when people can get busy and forget about the food drive. Not to mention, lots of people move to Clark County every year and don’t know about Walk & Knock, the largest single-day recurring food drive benefiting the Clark County Food Bank.

“That’s pretty special,” Knappenberger said. “I don’t think we’ve given ourselves enough credit for what we do.”

Like last year, employees at both Chuck’s Produce stores are wearing buttons reminding people about Walk & Knock and putting fliers in their grocery bags. New this year: People can donate $15 or $25 to go toward groceries and at the end of the week Chuck’s produce will donate the grocery equivalent of however much was donated.

Vancouver residents will get a prerecorded call from former Portland Trail Blazers announcer Bill Schonely, reminding them to donate. The Columbian is mailing bags to people who aren’t subscribers. Also, beginning over the weekend, Hudson’s Bay High School students started dropping off 12,000 bags on the doorsteps of homes in downtown neighborhoods and Minnehaha.

“Hopefully, everybody will be getting a bag one way or another,” Knappenberger said.

It’s an experiment to see if that improves donations. With declining newspaper subscriptions, fewer people get the paper, which had a grocery bag inserted in the Sunday edition.

Printed on the grocery bag is everything you need to know about Walk & Knock. Leave donations of shelf-stable food in a bag on your doorstep before 9 a.m. Saturday. Volunteers will collect the bags rain or shine. Canned meats, soups, cereal, peanut butter, rice and beans are among the needed items. Toiletries and pet food are accepted, too. If you forget to put the bag out or your house gets missed, there are 80 collection barrels around the county.

People can also donate money online at walkandknock.org, which the food bank uses to buy food.

The Columbian is one of Walk & Knock’s sponsors.