Apartment association boosts food bank

Matt Ketterman
Matt Ketterman

Todd Cohen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Since 2004, when it launched an effort to contribute cans of food to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina, the Triad Apartment  Association has contributed over 500,000 cans.

Collecting both cans and cash, with each dollar representing the buying power to purchase 12 cans, the association contributed 209,000 cans last year and 230,000 cans this year,  says Jon Lowder, executive director of the association, whose members own or manage 44,000 apartment units in 12 counties.

The association collects donated cans and cash at pool parties and other events organized by property-management companies or property managers that are its members, or at special nights at the Greensboro Grasshoppers and Winston-Salem Dash baseball games.

And Got You Floored, a Greensboro store that sells carpet and vinyl flooring to apartment communities and is a vendor partner of the association, started its own donation program a year ago.

Through a program in which it donates to the food drive $10, or the equivalent of 120 cans, for every order it receives by email or through it websisite, Got You Floored has contributed the equivalent of 75,000 cans to the Food Bank, says Matt Ketterman, the company’s owner and president.

“There’s a hunger problem throughout the year,” says Ketterman, who serves as liaison between the association’s board and its Products and Services Council, which represents the association’s vendor partners.

Demand for food has been growing, according to the Food Bank.

Two years ago, the Food Bank was delivering food through its roughly 400 partner agencies that reached about 150,000 people a year in 18 counties.

Last year, food from the Food Bank reached over 256,000 people.

The Food Bank delivers 15 million pounds of food a year, or 38,000 pounds a day.

And because the communities the Food Bank serves recognize the need, contributions have been growing, the Food Bank says.

The effort by the Triad Apartment Association to collect contributions for the Food Bank is a great way to get people involved, the Food Bank says.

Ketterman says he wanted to get involved to help feed hungry children.

There’s a hunger problem throughout the year, not just at Christmas time when everyone is donating cans,” he says.

Summer time, when the inventory at the Food Bank is lowest, is a time of peak demand because kids are out of school, which typically provides meals parents count on for their children, the Food Bank says.

The Food Bank gets food from the state and federal governments; by purchasing it at big discounts; from area grocers and retailers; and through public food drives like the ones sponsored by the Triad Apartment Association and its members.

At its recent awards ceremony that concludes each year’s food drive, the association honored Legacy at Friendly Manor in Greensboro as the property that raised the most food; Blue Ridge Property Management in High Point as the management company that raised the most food; Got You Floored for the most innovative donation program; and Sugar Creek Apartments in Winston-Salem for making the largest single financial donation.

“If we can feed some more hungry children,” says Ketterman, “that’s what this is all about.”

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