By Todd Cohen
RALEIGH — Two Wake groups that feed hungry people have united in a collaborative effort to build and manage a community kitchen they’ll share.
Emphasizing they are not merging, the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and Meals on Wheels of Wake County say their formation of Food Runners Collaborative Inc. will make their respective efforts more efficient and effective.
And the collaborative effort is expected to result in additional efforts by the two groups to work together.
Shannon Weiss, formerly a prospect researcher at Duke University Medical Center, is the campaign coordinator for Food Runners, which soon will launch a $3.5 million capital campaign to build the kitchen, along with a volunteer center and operations center.
The two groups say the effort will save $1.5 million because each group now won’t have to proceed with separate expansion plans that would have cost $2.5 million each.
The A.J. Fletcher Foundation has contributed $25,000 to help plan the new facility, and a leadership team is being assembled for the campaign, which could begin its quiet phase this summer. The campaign’s public phase could begin for to five months later.
Raleigh fundraising firm Capital Development Associates, which had been advising Meals on Wheels, and Raleigh fundraising consultant Jill Gammon, who had been advising the Food Shuttle, are campaign co-counsel.
Meals on Wheels, with the help of 2,000 volunteers, serves 1,300 meals a day to elderly, handicapped or homebound individuals through home delivery and at nutrition centers.
The Food Shuttle, with the help of 300 donors, delivers 46,000 pounds of unused food a week to soup kitchens and shelters.