Council 5561 - Warrenton, VA

COUNCIL 5561 - Feed the Hungry

Food Baskets

Food Baskets - History - Started in 1991

In the spring of 1991, Brother Tom Drinkwater transferred into Father Veger Council from his Council in Howell, NJ.  In Howell, for Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Council members assembled grocery bags of food for needy families in the area.  Each family received a full day’s supply of food to include bacon and eggs for breakfast, bread, sugar, flour, canned vegetables, potatoes, a turkey, desserts, and a host of other foodstuffs.  

The first Thanksgiving in Warrenton, as a member of Father Veger Council, Tom noted the Council wrote a check to Fauquier County Social Services for $200.00 for food and that was the extent of the Council’s contribution.  The same occurred at Christmas. 

The following year, having experienced the food basket distribution in his former Council, Tom made the motion that the Council assemble food baskets and distribute them to needy families in Fauquier County.  The motion passed and like so many other motions, the proposer was in charge!  

Names for recipients were obtained from the Parish Office and from his wife’s employer at the time, Fauquier Home Health and Fauquier Social Services.  Not having an organized canned goods drive, we used the food from the Knight’s food bin outside of church and the Council budgeted money to purchase the necessary remaining food.  It looked like we would have enough food and money for about 12 baskets.

On the Saturday morning before Thanksgiving Br. Tom went down to Giant and filled a shopping cart with 12 quarts of milk, 12 boxes of margarine, 12 dozen eggs, 12 bags of dressing mix, 12 bags of potatoes, 12 quarts of orange juice, 12 turkeys, and more.   Going up to the checkout counter, he started putting the items on the conveyer belt.  As Tom was doing this, he noticed a gentleman in the next aisle looking at him and the items being purchased.

He was dressed in work clothes and continued to look as he moved to the end of Tom's checkout counter, Tom was beginning to wonder what he wanted.  He finally asked Tom what he was doing with all of those groceries.  Br. Tom explained to him that he was from the Knights of Columbus and we were delivering them to families who needed some help for the holiday.  At that point he told the cashier to stop ringing up the items and that he would pay for the rest!!  Needless to say Tom was dumbfounded!!  Tom exchanged phone number and thanked him profusely. 

When Tom got home from delivering the baskets, the phone rang and it was our “benefactor.”  He told Tom that he had gone home and told his wife what he had done and that she was overjoyed and to call them before Christmas; that they wanted to help us again.  Br. Tom thought this was great but sure felt funny about calling them!  

On the Saturday before Christmas the phone rang and again it was our “benefactor.”  He started the conversation by saying: “I thought I told you to call us?  When are we going shopping?”  Was Tom feeling guilty!!!  He met them at Giant and they were like two little kids in a toy store, running around, filling shopping carts with food which they purchased again for our Council food baskets.  They again told Tom to call them for the following Thanksgiving.  He wasn’t going to forget the next time!!! 

For the next several years, Jim and Pat met us at Giant before each holiday to help purchase turkeys and other foodstuffs for the Council food baskets.  This continued even after Jim was laid off from his job as a Sear’s repairman.  After being on disability and unemployed for several years, Jim and Pat moved to Florida, living about 30 minutes west of Orlando.  Jim drives a school bus and Pat works at the school.  They continue to send checks each year - anywhere between $200 and $500 to the Council for our food basket program.  

Our Council food basket program has grown over the years from a mere 12 baskets to 335 baskets distributed last year.  Brother Mike Dennis succeeded Tom as Chairman and greatly expanded the program.   With the help of Jim and Pat, canned goods from our Scouts food drives, and our Council food donation box, along with others who have contributed cash or canned goods, our food basket program is the shining star of our Council’s service programs.  We should all be proud of it.

Sir Knight Thomas H.E. Drinkwater, PGK, PFN, FDD



Jim & Pat - Our Food Basket Benefactors - Since 1992
We Thank You!!!

Fraternal YR: FB # of: Meals/FB: Lbs/FB: T-Meals: Total Lbs: Tons:
1991-1992 12  8 40 96   480 0.2
1992-1993 24 8 40 192 960 0.5
1993-1994 28 8 40 224 1,120 0.6
1994-1995 30 8 40 240 1,200 0.6
1995-1996 35 8 40 280 1,400 0.7
1996-1997 40 8 40 320 1,600 0.8
1997-1998 45 8 40 360 1,800 0.9
1998-1999 50 8 40 400 2,000 1.0
1999-2000 55 8 40 440 2,200 1.1
2000-2001 60 8 40 480 2,400 1.2
2001-2002 80 8 40 640 3,200 1.6
2002-2003 100 8 40 800 4,000 2.0
2003-2004 120 8 40 960 4,800 2.4
2004-2005 140 8 40 1,120 5,600 2.8
2005-2006 160 8 40 1,280 6,400 3.2
2006-2007 200 8 40 1,600 8,000 4.0
2007-2008 300 8 40 2,400 12,000 6.0
2008-2009 310 8 40 2,480 12,400 6.2
2009-2010 320 8 40 2,560 12,800 6.4
2010-2011 335 8 40 2,680 13,400 6.7
2011-2012 340 8 40 2,720 13,600 6.8
2012-2013 169 8 40 1,352 6,760 3.4
2013-2014 237 8 45 1,896 10,665 5.3
2014-2015 301 8 45 2408 13545 6.8

Grand Totals 3,491     27,928 142,330 71.2

Food Baskets - Thanksgiving - 2011

COUNCIL #5561
Grand Knight - SK JR Gearhart
Chaplain - SK Fr. James Gould
Deputy GK - SK Ed Cook, PFN/PGK
FS - SK Steve L'Etoile, PFN/PGK
P.O. Box 3171
Warrenton, VA 20188

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