Annual Walk & Knock event shatters fundraising record

Walk & Knock’s “Drive & Drop” food drive this year brought in more than 130,000 pounds of food while raising a record $110,000. The Camas-Washougal dropoff site at ERS Rentals brought in 6,767 pounds of food.

“I’m so proud of our community stepping up when times are down,” said Walk & Knock President Tom Knappenberger. “While we didn’t collect as much food as last year, we received more than 10 times our usual financial contributions. And we did it all safely.”

Usually, thousands of volunteers go door to door collecting bags of food from front porches. This year, to be safe and still meet its 36-year tradition of helping Clark County residents in need, Walk & Knock asked that donations be brought to one of eight drop-off sites for a “Drive & Drop” event.

“The response was heartwarming,” Knappenberger said. “On a busy Saturday before Christmas, hundreds of people found time to drive and drop off their donations. It reminds you what a great community we have.”

In addition to non-perishable food and toiletries, Walk & Knock collected more than $110,000 through its PayPal site, and via checks and cash contributions. An anonymous $50,000 donation is the largest ever received by Walk & Knock. Normally, donations total about $10,000.

“We thought we’d receive more financial contributions because of the virus,” Knappenberger said. “But this is a staggering amount. Donations ranged from $5 to several $1,000 gifts and that amazing anonymous donation.”

The food and financial donations will provide more than 500,000 meals.

Knappenberger said people liked the postcards sent to everyone in Clark County, a substitute for the traditional grocery bags. Walk & Knock’s Board of Directors will review the Drive & Drop operation and see what changes might be incorporated into the traditional food drive.

“We need to be open to changes in society, how people live and work,” Knappenberger said. “There were some really good things about Drive & Drop we might incorporate into next year’s drive.”

Walk & Knock, the nation’s largest one-day community food drive, has collected more than 8.7 million pounds of food over its 36-year history, valued at $15.2 million. Walk & Knock is an all-volunteer organization made up of area Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary, the Clark County Amateur Radio Club, local trucking companies, area Boy and Girl Scout troops, local church and school groups, along with hundreds of other volunteers.

Clark County Inter-service Walk & Knock is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Lead sponsors are Riverview Community Bank, Cost Less Auto Parts, McDonald’s and Bank of America. For more information, visit walkandknock.org.