By Stephen Huff
One day soon, Feed Our Children NOW! hopes to go out of business. Non profits usually hope to stick around for years to come. But not this charity, founded in 2007 by Lana Posner. She hopes to eliminate the problem of kids not having enough to eat.
“Our goal is to be put out of business,” Posner said. “The fact that we have children in this country that are hungry is just appalling.”
Posner said her reason for starting Feed Our Children NOW! came from the fact that she moved to Camden to start a different sort of charity.
“We came down to Camden really to focus on financial literacy for young people, and when I got here, I found out that kids were hungry,” Posner said.
The non-profit is based out of Camden and under the umbrella of Creative Moneyworks Inc. which promotes financial literacy. Feed the Children Now! partners with the Vans Warped Tour to collect canned goods from concert-goers at every concert stop and distribute them to needy families.
According to Posner, she initially was just going to do one event to collect food for the kids in Camden a few years ago. However, she said, the response to the event was substantial, as people donated over 2,000 pounds of food.
“So from that point on, it dictated itself to us,” Posner said. “That that also came at the same time the economy collapsed, 2007, 2008. So the need for food all over the country grew.”
In terms of growth, Posner said the charity went to two concerts in 2007, increased to four in 2008, and then started going on each stop of the whole Warped Tour shortly afterwards.
The partnership with Vans Warped Tour has been huge, as the charity “collected and donated over 1,581,000 million pounds of food,” according to Feed Our Children NOW!’s website. Vans Warped Tour has helped in that people who bring in three cans or $5 receive “an Express Entry Wristband,” according to the charity’s website.
Franny Lopez, the tour manager for Feed Our Children NOW!, said his responsibilities involve things such as keeping track of the food and money collected, as well as telling local charities where they can pick up the food.
According to Lopez, being on the tour itself has made for some unique stories.
“The experiences you make out there are insane and are things you never want to forget,” Lopez said.
Lopez said that one such story took place in Minneapolis this year. Lopez said he was alone at the area by himself after a morning rush, when suddenly a “crazy gust of wind,” sent the group’s tents flying.
“I was left at the table with a table cover and a bunch of cans,” Lopez said.
Steph Kinney, the charity coordinator and an event manager for Feed Our Children NOW!, first heard of the organization when she went to Warped Tour in 2007.
“I can’t remember if I brought cans that day or donated, I might have donated the $5 because I don’t remember bringing cans,” Kinney said. “But I do remember going and I do remember seeing the tent as I walked in and it was kind of like, it wasn’t anything like what we have today.”
Kinney, who started volunteering for the group in 2012, said that she handles a lot of the preparatory work for Warped Tour.
“The charity coordination, what I do with that is that is I’m responsible for finding a charity in the 43 cities that Vans Warped Tour goes to and I have, since we’ve grown a bit, I have girls that work under me and they also are in charge of that as well,” Kinney said.
In addition to helping out with Warped Tour, Kinney said that she was one of the people responsible for helping the charity to try and break the Guinness Book of World Records record for the most food donated in a single day.
According to Kinney, the group has attempted this feat twice, with the first attempt being in Atlanta in 2014 and the second attempt being in Camden in 2015.
Although the group didn’t manage to break the record, Kinney said she was still proud of the work they did.
“Our main thing was to just feed as many people as we could that day, which we definitely did,” Kinney said. “That was our largest, I think our largest in a single day, which I think we got around 40,000 pounds of food, which unfortunately that’s not a world record breaker but it was a whole lot of food.”