The Empty Pantry Fund has ended its 2019 fundraising season with slightly more than $128,000 in donations, all of which provided 1,460 Christmas food baskets for Blount County citizens in need.

On Dec. 27, Empty Pantry Fund President Lon Fox announced the fund was approximately $3,469.95 from reaching the 2019 goal. On Jan. 3, he reported that donations of $2,550 had been received between Dec. 27-31, decreasing the shortfall to approximately $920.

“According to my calculations, we did not achieve our fundraising goal for 2019,” Fox said. But, as he explained in the report published Jan. 3, a surplus collected in the past ensures that the fund will have enough money to pay all bills. “We will just start off the 2020 fundraising year with a smaller balance,” he explained at that time.

Fox again thanked all who donated funds, time and effort for the Empty Pantry Fund. “Your generosity continues to be inspiring,” he said.

“As we embark on this New Year, we will make it our mission to help as many families as possible because no family should go hungry during Christmas,” Fox said. “It has always been the mission of this organization to bring the gift of food to needy residents of Blount County during Christmas. As the need continues to grow, so will the Empty Pantry Fund.”

The Empty Pantry Fund accepts donations throughout the year. These will be acknowledged in the first listing of the 2020 fundraising campaign in November.

BALANCE FORWARD, $125,451.15

• Tazz, $400

• Jim and Linda Rose, $100

• Anonymous, $100

• In recognition of all the volunteers by Ruth and Steve West, $500

• In honor of Lon and Sally Fox, $500

• In memory of Boyd and Zella McClanahan, John McClanahan, Sam McClanahan and Mary McClanahan, $100

• In memory of Bill McClanahan, $100

• In memory of Ella Myers, Charles Hatcher, Cam Hatcher, Mike Bundra, Evelyn Bundra, Birdia Cummings and Otis Rose, $200

• Bill and Karren Cochran, $100

• Anonymous, $50

• David and Cheryl Garner, $200

• Keith and Holly Dancho, $100

• Thomas and Marian Fitzgerald, $100

ENDING TOTAL FOR 2019, $128,001.15

Contact Linda Braden Albert with story ideas at Lin dasInkyfingers@comcast.net.

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