Jewel of a time Reps race for food donations 2009: Batavia 8212

Jewel of a time Reps race for food donations

BATAVIA &8212 Two local state representatives Tuesday gave each other a run for their money &8212 with grocery carts.

Reps. Kay Hatcher, R-Yorkville, and Keith Farnham, D-Elgin, competed in the eighth annual Farm Bureau Shopping Spree at the Jewel-Osco in Batavia. In front of about 40 spectators, the two were given five minutes to collect as many food items from the shelves as they could in a grocery cart decorated with streamers, balloons and bicycle horns. The contest eventually purchased $2,121.25 worth of groceries to help families whose incomes fall far below the average. Since 2001, the shopping sprees have raised more than $11,000. The American Farm Bureau hosts Food Check-Out Week during the middle of February each year because by this week, the average American has earned enough disposable income to pay for his or her food supply for the rest of the year. Each representative was given a team of volunteers from the Northern Illinois Food Bank, who followed the contestants with empty carts to replace ones filled with staples such cereal, pasta, sauces and juice. A bag of Reese&8217s Pieces also made it into one of the carts. Five senior cheerleaders from Batavia High School shouted, clapped and followed the representatives during their shopping spree. Hatcher won the event by purchasing groceries totaling $1,288.09, compared to Farnham&8217s bill of $883.16. &8220Food pantries are the safety net that every community needs,&8221 Hatcher said. &8220This event helps us serve organizations that are becoming more and more stressed in this economy.&8221

Farnham represented Centro de Informacion, a not-for-profit, multipurpose Hispanic social service agency based in Elgin, and Hatcher represented the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry.


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