CAROL STREAM – Community leaders faced off in a shopping cart race Feb. 13 at Jewel-Osco of Carol Stream, 750 W. Army Trail Road, to generate food, funds and awareness for local pantries.
“This is a need that goes on every day,” said DuPage County Farm Bureau General Manager Mike Ashby. “People are hungry year-round.”
The event was sponsored by the organization’s women’s committee in recognition of National Food Check-Out Week, according to a bureau news release.
Behind the shopping carts were Carol Stream Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Luanne Newman and Community Consolidated School District 93 Community Relations Coordinator Ryan McPherrin. The race began at 9:30 a.m., as each competitor attempted to gather the most groceries for Carol Stream charities.
McPherrin finished in first place, collecting 465 items, or $1,340.37 worth of food, Ashby said. The bureau, which is based in Carol Stream, purchased the groceries for donation to the Neighborhood Food Pantry at the Lutheran Church of the Master.
Newman collected 397 groceries, or $1,171.74 in food, which the bureau also bought, to be donated to the Humanitarian Service Project. Additionally, the bureau matched McPherrin’s winning total by giving $168.63 in cash to the project, so each pantry received the same amount.
This is the bureau’s 16th annual shopping cart race in DuPage County and its sixth in Carol Stream.
“It was a great competition,” McPherrin said. “It really just feels good to be able to collect all those items.”
McPherrin said participating in the race is one of District 93’s multiple efforts to combat hunger. The district will take part in an annual community-wide food drive organized by the Rotary Club of Carol Stream on April 12, when district schools will serve as food drop-off points and participate in fundraisers associated with the drive.
Additionally, the district teaches nutrition as part of its early childhood program and in physical development classes for older students, McPherrin said.
“It’s an honor to be able to help one of our chamber members,” said Newman, referring to the Humanitarian Service Project. “Both organizations are stellar groups to help those in need in the community.”
This year’s race was a rematch, after Newman won last year against District 93 Superintendent Bill Shields.
“It was nice to come back and get some retribution for the loss,” McPherrin said, jokingly.