Food For The Hungry began as a food and money drive on WMVO radio to benefit Interchurch Social Services and the Salvation Army in 1982. Long-time WMVO morning show host Charlie Kilkenny started the drive with the help of his wife, Carol, and businesses at the Mount Vernon Shopping Plaza (now the Kroger Plaza). Mount Vernon Cablevision joined in sponsoring the drive the next year. The drive grew into a partnership between the radio stations and other media (WNZR, Mount Vernon News) in 1995, and added Mount Vernon Nazarene University (who sponsored a basketball tournament) and the accounting services of Nelson & Nelson one year later.
For many years, the drive has been led by a partnership between local businesses known as the Legacy Partners. Representatives from these partners guide the Drive Coordinator - a community member dedicated to coordinating the many community volunteers and activities that make this drive a success. Food For The Hungry is MANY EVENTS culminating into a one day simulcast (broadcast on radio and streaming online) – December 9, 2017.
The Zelkowitz Memorial Award is given each year during the Food for the Hungry drive to a citizen of Knox County who exemplifies the spirit of community service, especially in regards to Food for the Hungry. The award is given in memory of Stephen Zelkowitz, former president and general manager of Mount Vernon Broadcasting and president of Mount Vernon Cablevision. As a community leader in various charitable events, Stephen led the Food for the Hungry initiative in Knox County along with Charlie Kilkenny.
2017 - Roy and Glenda (in memory) Waldron (Bubbles and Banjo) 2016 - John Feltman 2015 - Patrick and Sandy Rhoton 2014 - Matt Starr 2013 - Dave Bevington 2012 - Austin Swallow 2011 - Sam McQueen 2010 - Tim Hall and Don McDaniel 2009 - Denny Irwin 2008 - Kay Culbertson 2007 - Dean & Audrey Spearman 2006 - Sally Nelson 2005 - Wayne Bower 2004 - Ron Staats 2003 - Joe & Marcy Rinehart 2002 - Betty Bemiller-Irwin 2001 - Pete Frye 2000 - John Nesbit 1999 - Jerry Scott 1998 - Jolene Stulka 1997 - Doug Brenneman 1996 - Chuck Dice 1995 - Charlie Kilkenny 1994 - Helen Zelkowitz