Bag loads of fun

Volunteers help prepare for the upcoming Clark County Walk & Knock food drive

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Clark County Inter-Service Walk & Knock began in 1985 and has collected more than 7.5 million pounds of food.

Inside the Thursday, Dec. 1 Post-Record, readers will find a Walk & Knock grocery bag that can be filled with non-perishable food and left on front doorsteps Saturday, Dec. 3, by 9 a.m. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., volunteers will go door-to-door to collect the bags.

Volunteers are needed to collect and sort donations. For more information, visit

Food donations can also be dropped off at collection barrels prior to and following the Walk & Knock event. Local sites include Riverview Community Bank, 700 N.E. Fourth Ave., and Les Schwab Tire Center, 2375 S.E. Eighth St., in Camas, and at the Inter-Faith Treasure House, 91 “C” St., and Vancouver Clinic, 291 “C” St., in Washougal.

Monetary donations can be made online at

For Shawn Perez and Christy Rice, a Saturday morning spent folding brown paper shopping bags at the Clark County Food Bank doesn’t feel like work at all.

The Heritage High School teachers were two of an estimated 300 volunteers who showed up to help with preparations for the upcoming Clark County Inter-Service Walk & Knock food drive — scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 3.

They sat for several hours at one of the dozens of folding tables set up inside the food bank’s massive warehouse, located off of Minnehaha Street in Vancouver.

Their group also included Rice’s children, Delaney Shanahan and Giovanni Nastasia, both students at Prairie High School, and Mallory Vanover, Jacob Alvick and Tanner McDaniel, all participants in Heritage’s DECA business and marketing club.

“We love community service,” said Perez, DECA advisor and marketing teacher. “It helps all of Clark County. I like to get the students out of the classroom, so that they can get a vision outside of their school building. We have fun. We’re not in an education mode, we’re just in a family, fun mode.”

Clearly enjoying their time together, the group passed the time by perfecting their folding techniques and testing their speed to see who could fold the most bags.

“I like the competition,” said Rice, a family and consumer science teacher.

Vanover, 2016-17 DECA president, had already completed all of her required volunteer service hours earlier this year. She decided to donate her time to Walk & Knock because she enjoys it.

“It’s fun,” she said, “and I just like spending time with my DECA friends.”

The approximately 110,000 bags that were folded will be inserted next week into the print editions of local newspapers, including the Camas-Washougal Post-Record on Thursday, Dec. 1.

Those bags can be filled with non-perishable food items and left on front doorsteps Saturday, Dec. 3, by 9 a.m. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., more than 3,000 volunteers will go door-to-door to collect the bags, and deliver the food to one of 10 drop-off locations, including the Excavator Rental Services/Maxcess International parking lot on Northeast Eighth Avenue in Camas.

The donations then go to the Clark County Food Bank, which distributes the food to 15 local food banks. Among them is the Inter-Faith Treasure House in Washougal.

According to volunteer Tom Knappenberger, this year Walk & Knock organizers are deploying several new marketing strategies.

About 10,000 Camas residents will soon be receiving reminder postcards in the mail, and Vancouver residents will get an automated reminder phone call from Bill Schonely, the sports broadcaster who was the play-by-play announcer for the Portland Trail Blazers for almost three decades.

In addition, Chuck’s Produce is sponsoring 2,100 donation bags and having its checkers wear reminder buttons at their two stores in Vancouver and Salmon Creek.

“We’re testing these out as experiments, to see if donations go up,” Knappenberger said.

Approximately 133 tons of food were donated during Walk & Knock in 2015. While contributions have remained fairly steady in recent years, organizers haven’t seen totals increase in proportion to the area’s population.

“Since Walk & Knock started in 1985, Clark County has grown,” Knappenberger said. “A lot of these new people don’t know about it. Our charge is to remind them in a busy holiday season not to forget about Walk & Knock. If we can get the word out and remind people, they are usually happy to donate. There is a need out there.”