Care Nursing and Rehabilitation and Good Samaritan began their March Against Hunger Campaign on March 1. They will continue working to collect donations, food and canned goods throughout the months of March and April.

The March Against Hunger Campaign is a part of the nationally known Feinstein Challenge, a program began by the Feinstein Foundation. The foundation was established in 1991 by Alan Shawn Feinstein. It believes in the alleviation of hunger and the importance of community service in education and the values of caring compassion and brotherhood, according to www.feinsteinfoundation.org.

For over a decade, Feinstein has offered up $1 million of his own earnings to inspire Good Samaritan organizations across the county. During the months of March and April, every donation to GSM’s three hunger ministries count towards the challenge. These include The Deer Project, Food for Thought and the Food Pantry.

Any monetary donations are matched dollar for dollar and all food donations count as $1 per item or pound depending on which amount is greater.

This is one of GSM’s largest fund-raisers of the year due to the two-month time length. Included in this challenge are any fund-raisers that occur in the next two months. For example, The Empty Bowls Project from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 28 at the Brownwood Coliseum will help with the March Against Hunger Campaign.

Last year, GSM’s Feinstein goal was $140,000 and the ministry surpassed it. This year, they will set a goal of $150,000, said http://www.goodsambwd.org/feinstein_challenge.aspx. All funds generated from these programs are used to feed families and children in our local community.

GSM encourages any business, school, organization or group to set up their own drop off location for the March Against Hunger Campaign.

One of these locations is Care Nursing and Rehabilitation. Jodie Armstrong, Care’s marketing and admissions director, said they put out their basket and sign and began collecting goods. They are already on their second box.

“Its been really fun,” said Armstrong. “The Care apartment residents have been some of our biggest contributors and it gives them a real sense of purpose within helping the community.”Armstrong said many of those who come to visit family and friends at Care will bring canned goods for their loved ones to donate or to donate themselves.

The drop off at Care isn’t just for residents. Anyone can drop off donated items there. They are located at 200 County Road 616 in Early.

“Good Samaritan does such a good job helping the community,” said Armstrong, “we want to help keep them going.”

In 2012, GSM’s hunger ministries helped 4,092 families. On average, 1,020 families per month picked up groceries at GSM’s food pantry. There are 117 children enrolled in the Food for Thought program. One in five adults and one in four children in our community are at risk for food insecurity. Both statistics are higher than the national average.

If you would like to donate to GSM’s March Against Hunger, drop off points include both Care and Good Samaritan. Anyone who would like to donate, but needs their donations picked up, may contact Jodie Armstrong at (325) 642-0363.