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"Feed The Need" Community Food Drive Earns Top Honor

Released 10 February 2012

"Feed The Need" Community Food Drive Honored with
Prestigeous Merrill Award

Top Honor commemorates community's commitment to
feeding its starving neighbors

(L to R: Captain Dwaine Breazeale, The Salvation Army; John Alkire, The Big Fresno Fair; Andy Souza, Community Food Bank)


February 10, 2012 (FRESNO, CA):  Today, The Big Fresno Fair, The Salvation Army, Community Food Bank and other local partners formally announced that the "Feed The Need" Community Food Drive received the elusive Merrill Award, given by the Western Fairs Association (WFA).  This top award is the highest honor awarded in the WFA Achievement Award Program and is given to fairs that clearly demonstrate innovation, vision and excellence.

In addition to thanking key food drive partners, John C. Alkire, CEO of The Big Fresno Fair, formally dedicated the award to the Fresno community, thanking those who volunteered at the event and everyone who contributed food -- a total of 134 tons of food over the last three Fair-time food drives. Fresno County Supervisors, Henry Perea and Phil Larson, were on hand to accept the award on behalf of the community, among other civic leaders.

"This is a great honor for both The Big Fresno Fair and the Fresno Community," said Captain Dwaine Breazeale, Area Coordinator for The Salvation Army.  "The award not only signifies innovation on behalf of the food drive partners, but the high-level of committment by the larger community to step-up and donate food to those hungry among us."

In 2011, The Salvation Army of Fresno County provided food boxes to more than 100,000 men, women, and children.  This year, distribution is on track to reach at least 150,000 men, women and children. In addtiion The Salvation Army in Fresno serves nearly 8,000 meals to low income seniors each year through its Senior Nutritional Program.

Over the past three years, the "Feed the Need" Community Food Drive has grown into the largest single day, single location food drive in the nation. Today's honor is an opportunity to remind the community about the importance of giving and challenge everyone to increase their volunteerism and charitable giving throughout the year - helping to Be The Change in our community.



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