Will Float For Food

CAFNR's Cardboard Regatta to benefit The Food Bank

A one-quarter scale model of a carboard regatta boat.

Want to race a cardboard boat to help a local organization feed hungry people?

The College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Missouri and The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri are giving amateur boat builders a chance to row to victory in the inaugural Float Your Boat for the Food Bank Cardboard Regatta, April 21, at A. Perry Philips Park, 5050 Bristol Lake Parkway, Columbia.

Proceeds will be donated to The Food Bank to supply food to people who don’t have enough to eat in mid-Missouri.  Registration for racers ends March 21.

The regatta is open to individuals, families, organization teams or corporate teams, said Kristen Smarr, director of communications at CAFNR.  “This event will bring groups together to collaborate on an innovative, team-building project, culminating with a fun, unique competition – while supporting a great cause.”

“Recent statistics show that one in six people in mid-Missouri are food insecure, which means that they do not always know where they will get their next meal,” said Peggy Kirkpatrick, executive director of The Food Bank.  “The same statistic is worse for children. One in four children in our community experience food insecurity.”

Go Crazy

“Teams are encouraged to get creative when building their cardboard boats,” Smarr said. “Go crazy with unique themed boats and costumes to match.”

The West Chester, Ohio Rotary Club's dragon-themed boat.

Prizes will be given to teams who place in the race, have the best decorated boat and make the most unusual use of cardboard.  There will also be the Titanic Award for the Best Sinking.  Local celebrities will serve as judges.

The project is part of a year-long commitment by CAFNR to boost food donations to The Food Bank.  The project, called Collaborating for a Healthy Future, utilizes the College’s expertise, partnerships and knowledge in areas of agriculture, economics and nutrition.

For the project, CAFNR has planted two acres of sweet corn at its Bradford Research Center to provide 14,000-28,000 ears for The Food Bank.  CAFNR students volunteered in The Food Bank’s Buddy Pack Program where more than 8,600 children each week receive food to supplement their weekend meals.

Few Rules, More Fun

There are only a few boat construction rules to make the event more fun, Smarr said.  “Only corrugated, non-waxed, cardboard can be used.  Wood, Styrofoam, rubber or other inflation devices can’t be used.  Joints and seams may be glued or taped together.  Decorations or corporate logos can be included if they don’t reinforce the structure of the boat.”

The trophy for the winning team is made out of carboard, of course.

Boats that don’t meet construction rules but are still safe can compete in a special Pirate Race.  No prizes will be awarded in this category, however.

CAFNR’s mission is to ensure sustainability for future generations by infusing innovative research, creative collaboration and the advanced science-based technology with creative thinking, conscience and commitment to excellence.

The Food Bank distributes free food to 138 elementary schools through the Buddy Pack Program, a weekend food service for children; and 135 hunger-relief agencies, such as food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. The network helps to feed nearly 100,000 people per month in 32 counties in central and northeast Missouri.

More information about the race is available at: http://floatforthefoodbank.org/index.php

To sponsor a boat, contact Todd Pridemore at The Food Bank, 573/474-1020, tpridemore@sharefoodbringhope.org.