Walk & Knock newsletter

Walk and Knock
Volume 4, No. 3 | February 04, 2023

The Walk & Knocker

A quarterly newsletter for the Walk & Knock Family


Walk & Knock was back big-timeVolunteers loading bags of food

After two years of COVID-caused Drive & Drops, Walk & Knock porch pickups were back in a big way Dec. 3rd. 150,743 of food and toiletries were collected along with more than $27,000 in cash donations. And, just as importantly, over 2,200 volunteers, most of them young folks, joined in.

Roller CoasterTruck hauling food donations

The past few years have been a roller coaster for Walk & Knock. When COVID first hit in early 2020, I thought “Thank goodness our drive is in December! This should be all over by then.” By summer of 2020 the Board was looking for Plan B. We found it in Drive & Drop, which was hugely successful.

Then we planned to go back to porch pickups in 2021. But Omicron had other ideas. So, Year Two of D&D. This year, my fourth as president, we finally were able to get back to our traditional drive. Hoping for a smoother ride now

Going ForwardVolunteers loading food into boxes

Despite our successes in keeping the drives rolling, the big picture has some clouds. The graph below shows collections over time. They’ve been up and down, often tracking recessions. But they’re not keeping up by any means with Clark County’s dynamic growth. More troubling, our volunteer numbers have dropped from 4,000 to 3,500 to 3,000 in 2019 to this year’s 2,200. That’s still a lot, and they’re mostly young people learning community service. Still…

Graph of food pounds over the years

Volunteers loading food into boxes

Some of you have heard me say that and know it means the best way to recruit is through organizations – businesses, churches, schools, clubs etc. Get one committed and you’ve got 20 or 30 volunteers. I think the future of W&K depends on injecting more energy – getting organizations permanently involved. Spreading out the organizing load so it doesn’t fall just on civic clubs. Like a coach, I’m not just looking to the next game (drive), but to the long-term health and sustainability of Walk & Knock.

So… in the coming months your Board will be discussing how best to move forward. Organize around schools? Around businesses? Keep postcards? Return to bags? Door hangers? All this boils down to two things:  Getting people to put out food and getting people to pick up food. I remain very proud of our County’s unique, home-grown, largest-in-the-nation effort to help our neighbors. I also remain committed to finding, with your help, the best path forward. Your thoughts welcome.

FarewellJames Fitzgerald

Sad to say, longtime Board member James Fitzgerald is leaving us to pursue educational opportunities. James has dedicated years to helping others, currently as executive director of Vancouver’s FISH food pantry, and prior to that as warehouse manager for the Clark County Food Bank. James has been a committed, highly valued W&K member and will be greatly missed. Though we know he’ll always be there when we need him.


Those of you Fred Meyer shoppers know their rewards program is money back in your pocket. It can be money in W&K’s pocket, too. Their Community Rewards Program allows you to designate your favorite non-profit (W&K we hope) to receive similar rebates without affecting your own rewards. Its Fred’s way of giving to the community. Please sign up and designate Walk & Knock as your recipient. It’s free money just waiting for you to activate. Visit https://www.fredmeyer.com/i/community/community-rewards

Your Board of directors

Tom Knappenberger, President
Adam Hegewald, VP, Operations
Janet Elliott, VP, Volunteers
Isabella Guetter, VP, Social Media
Steven Staudinger, Treasurer
Pam Pfeifer, Secretary
Justin Wood, Past President
Joe Pauletto, Board Member
Bill Lundin, Board Member
Jeff Fish, Board Member
Tim Kraft, Board Member
Also featuring:
Scott Miller, Sponsorship Coordinator
Barbara Yasson, Clark County Amateur Radio Club
read more

Donate to walk & Knock

All money collected goes directly to the Clark County Food Bank to help those in need.

Mail checks to: PO Box 353, Vancouver WA 98666, payable to Interservice Walk & Knock
Donate online: Pay with credit card via Paypal, even if you don't have a Paypal account
donate now

Tom KappenbergerQuestions? Drop me a line anytime – tomwalkandknock@gmail.com
Thanks for all you do!

Tom Knappenberger,
Walk & Knock President