Donations to Radio Food Drive to aid both WEFT, food bank
CHAMPAIGN – WEFT 90.1 FM radio has teamed up with the Eastern Illinois Foodbank for the fundraising Radio Food Drive, which gives listeners a chance for a single contribution to the station to have twice the impact.
For every $10 donated to the nonprofit community radio station, WEFT will donate $1 to the food bank. A $1 donation allows the food bank to purchase, through its network of wholesale food distributors, $10 worth of food to help families in need.
One of seven food banks statewide, the Eastern Illinois Foodbank covers 14 counties – Champaign, Clark, Clay, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Iroquois, Jasper, Moultrie, Piatt and Vermilion.
"The partnership is the outcome of WEFT's efforts to reach out and reconnect with the greater community, as well as the many diverse communities in our listening area. Our criteria is to be of service to those in need," said WEFT station manager Mick Woolf.
"The economic downturn has created challenges for families, businesses, service agencies and nonprofits in general. While it's always mutually beneficial to collaborate with other organizations even in good times, in this current environment, it makes even greater sense to work together to realize our shared objectives, particularly since giving is down."
Winter can be especially difficult time for families struggling to make ends meet: 50 percent of those served by the Eastern Illinois Foodbank have reported having to choose between paying their heating bill or buying food; 39 percent have had to choose between paying for food and paying their rent or mortgage; and 29 percent have had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care.
"The food bank has seen an unprecedented increase in the number of people served each month," executive director Jim Hires said. "Forty-four-thousand people are now being reached through the services of the food bank. In Champaign County alone, that's 22,000 each month."
Hires said the food bank is for the unique partnership with WEFT radio.
"But more importantly, I'm excited about working toward a common goal, and hope to see this collaborative effort continue," he said. "We're thankful that people and organizations in our area are willing to step up to address the problem of hunger."
Woolf said, "We know it's tough for many people to give right now. But when we think of all the challenges facing us as a nation, let alone globally, it's good to know that we can come together locally to actually do our small part in helping those in need, rather than simply throwing up our hands at the overwhelming issues of our day.
"WEFT has used the power of our airwaves to broadcast many topics since 1981. It's natural for us to partner with others to benefit our local community. We also hope that people will continue to find their local community radio station a relevant resource of music news, and information worthy of their financial support as well."
The Radio Food Drive campaign began in mid-January and will continue through Feb. 22. Contributions may be made to WEFT 90.1 FM through the station Web site at www.weft.org or by mailing checks to WEFT 90.1 FM, P.O. Box 1223, Champaign, IL 61824.