Football for Food
Annual campaign helps stock food pantry
The Community Food Pantry is looking to win big in its fight against hunger with this year's Football for Food campaign.
Admission to the Sept. 28 Canal Winchester vs. Bloom Carroll football game will be free with a donation to the food pantry. Without a donation, admission will be $5 for adults and $3 for children.
"Thanks to our sponsors, the city of Canal Winchester, Jeff Wyler Chevrolet, WalMart and Canal Banking Center, all proceeds from the game this year will benefit the food pantry," said Penny Miller, Canal Winchester's human services administrator.
According to Miller, the Football for Food campaign, along with the Pizza for Food campaign (which leads up to the big game), has brought in more than 11,000 items as well as cash donations in recent years.
"This is the largest food campaign of the year for us and it's really important, because the summertime really drains the food pantry," Miller said. "Our shelves are pretty bare right now, which makes it tough. We had to do a bulk purchase of food from the MidOhio Foodbank last week just to restock."
The Pizza for Food campaign will take place at the elementary schools Sept. 27 and at the middle school and high school Sept. 28.
Students are asked to bring in donations for the food pantry and then each school rewards the class with the highest number of donations with a pizza party.
"Last year, we collected about 6,000 of the 11,000 items during the Pizza for Food drive," Miller said. "Unfortunately, we used to be able to make it almost a full year on the items collected during these drives. But the last two years, we've only made it to the end of the holidays."
The local food pantry currently distributes about 1,500 items a week to area families in need, she said, so year-round donations are needed to maintain the stock.
For years, Canal Winchester and Bloom Carroll have had a healthy football rivalry, and the Indians' former coach is now coaching for the Bulldogs, making this year especially exciting, Miller said.
"The food pantry serves not only Canal Winchester and Lithopolis, but also parts of Fairfield County, including the Bloom Carroll school district, so this game is truly an effort that will support both schools," Miller said. "This is a great way to support both your favorite football team and the food pantry at the same time."