I'm looking very much forward to the spring game -- especially the pre-game tailgate to hang out with many old ATQ friends, and hopefully many more that we'll be meeting for the first time (Remember, ATQ's tailgate will start at 8:30 AM and keep going right up until gametime). While it will be a fun experience as usual (and those of you that missed out on ATQ's football season tailgates missed out on a treat), we also have a chance to do a great deal of good while we're there.
We're not going to make it a regular point to ask for charity here at ATQ (though please give to the Miracle Wolf fund. Then give again), but the spring game provides too good an opportunity to pass up. As you know, admission to the spring game is three cans of food that will be donated to Food for Lane County. If three cans is what your means will support, then thank you for your generous donation. But if you can support more than that, please do so. Nowhere does it say we can't give more than three. My challenge is for ATQ to donate as much as we possibly can.
There are two reasons why this is so important to me:
1. Being a teacher, I know how important summer food donations are to kids. For many poor children, their school breakfasts and lunches are the main (and sometimes only) sources of food that these kids get. Once school gets out, this goes away for a lot of kids. As most food box donations go to families with children, we can help alleviate hunger in this population.
2. My family had to get food boxes on many occasions growing up, so I know how important they are.
Also, a few things to keep in mind with your food donations:
- Lots of people will reach into their cupboard and grab the can of cream corn that they accidentally bought, or the can of lima beans that have been sitting there for two years. While you should donate those items you aren't going to use, remember that everyone else is going to do that as well. And if you don't like lima beans and cream corn, there are a lot of kids that don't either. So please donate you undesirable items, just don't forget to put in some tasty items as well. The kids do like something fun now and again.
- I have a few undesirables that I'll be donating, but I'll also go to the store with ten bucks, which I basically see as a cheap ticket to the game. I'll get a bag of food with the ten dollars and donate that. You'll be shocked what you can buy with ten dollars, especially if you look for sales on store brand items.
- But keep in mind nutrition as well. I've seen on food drives in the past a lot of people go to the store with good intentions, only to load up on Ramen and Mac n' Cheese because they're cheap and taste pretty good. That may be true, but they don't do a lot for you nutritionally. Best bets for non-perishable food items are canned fruits, soups, and meats such as tuna, and dry staples such as pasta, beans, rice, and flour. Other great items include cereal, raisins, peanut butter, and jelly.
So this is my challenge. If everyone could just take five or ten bucks and take a few extra minutes on their next shopping trip, we could get a lot of nutritous food out to some needy kids this summer.
Nobody will be counting or keeping score. Nobody will be judged. But I offer this as my personal challenge to every Duck fan: lets get as much food out to the community as we possibly can.