A group of motivated Salinans gathered Thursday to rally, and kick-off the 2023 Project Salina effort.
Project Salina is an annual drive to collect food for the hungry. It unites multiple businesses, churches, and other organizations in an effort to collect food for five agencies that serve meals, or distribute food, throughout the year. The agencies include Ashby House, the Salina Rescue Mission, The Emergency Aid Food Bank, the Salvation Army, and the Domestic Violence Association of Central Kansas.
Project Salina provides about 40% of the annual food needs.
Representatives from each organization spoke at the kick-off event Thursday morning.
This year marks 33 years of the effort. Project Salina began back in 1990. It started as an effort to help agencies that provide food when their need is the greatest, in the summer months. The agencies typically see a lot of donations during the holidays, but by the summer months their shelves are getting bare.
In that first year, 23 organizations gathered 56,465 food items for three local agencies. The effort has grown over the years. Last year, 139 businesses and churches participated in the effort collecting 46,728 food items.
While Thursday was the kick-off event for volunteers, the actual food collection does not begin until May 1st, and continues throughout the entire month.
Meridian Media radio stations this year will be collecting cereal.