Reps have a Jewel of a time getting food donations 2009: Batavia 8212

Reps have a Jewel of a time getting 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 8th Annual Farm Bureau Shopping Spree at Jewel-Osco in Batavia in front of approximately 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 purchased $2,121.25 worth of groceries to help families whose income falls 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. The two representatives each was given a team of volunteers from the Northern Illinois Food Bank who followed them contestants with empty carts to replace ones filled with staples such cereal, pasta, sauces and juice. A bag of Reese's 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's bill of $883.16. "Food pantries are the safety net that every community needs. This event helps us serve organizations that are becoming more and more stressed in this economy," Hatcher said.

Farnham represented Centro de Informacion, a not for profit, multipurpose Hispanic social service agency and state Hatcher represented Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry.

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