The city of Palmdale’s South Antelope Valley Emergency Services (SAVES) food and shelter program is seeking individuals, groups, churches, organizations and schools to participate in the 17th Annual Feinstein Challenge which will provide matching funds to SAVES.

For the 17th consecutive year, Alan Shawn Feinstein, through the Feinstein Foundation, will divide $1 million among nonprofit hunger fighting agencies nationwide using it as a spur to help them raise funds this March and April.

“How the Feinstein Challenge works is that the more food and cash donations SAVES receives during the months of March and April, the more matching funds we can receive from the Feinstein Foundation,” said SAVES Coordinator Patricia Morales. “It provides a great opportunity and motive to partner with local groups and individuals raise much needed food and money so we may assist the families who need our services.”

Residents are encouraged to participate in the drive by bringing non-perishable food items to SAVES, located at 1002 East Ave. Q-12 in Palmdale. Tax deductible donations may be made to SAVES through the Palmdale Community Foundation (Tax ID #95-4669404.)

“If you or your group is interested in participating in the Feinstein Food Challenge to help SAVES, please call us at (661) 267-5191 and we’ll be glad to work with you,” added Morales.

This year, community partner Macy’s will be collecting food through their annual Bag Hunger employee food and fund drive. “This is a great opportunity for all of our employees to give back to those in need. Macy’s as a whole is very dedicated to this mission and is matching funds donated by our employees,” said Mindy Hamblin, this year’s coordinator of the Bag Hunger event. “We would like to have the community join us in this effort by supporting SAVES during this the month of March and April.”

Founded in 1991 by Alan Shawn Feinstein, the Feinstein Foundation is dedicated to the alleviation of hunger, the importance of community service in education and the values of caring, compassion and brotherhood. Feinstein’s past annual spring $1 million challenges to fight hunger have raised more than $1.5 billion for more than 1,800 agencies and houses of worship nationwide helping the needy.

Palmdale’s SAVES program has been successfully providing a practical and caring approach to serving people in need since 1983. During the 2012/2013 fiscal year, SAVES was able to provide 67,704 meals to families, 18,333 meals to seniors, and 2,680 units of bread and bakery. In addition, during the 2013 holiday season, SAVES provided 230 Thanksgiving baskets, 280 holiday baskets and 348 toys to children.

For more information, call SAVES Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (661) 267-5191. For more information on the Feinstein Food Challenge, visit www.feinsteinfoundation.org.