Diving Into Help

'Cardboard captains' get ready for April 20 race for The Food Bank

SONY DSCCardboard boat skippers and crews will get a chance on March 6 to gather the materials needed to build boats for the second annual Float Your Boat for the Food Bank race.

The “Dumpster Dive” will begin at 5:30 p.m. at The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri’s headquarters, 2101 Vandiver Drive, Columbia, Mo. The second annual cardboard boat race will occur April 20 at the Bass Pro Lake in northeast Columbia.  Proceeds from the race will benefit the Food Bank’s efforts to boost healthy food donations.

The fundraiser is sponsored by the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) at the University of Missouri and The Food Bank.

Besides big pieces of cardboard that skippers and crews can use to build their creations, rules and hints for a successful race will be shared.  There will also be a drawing to win a free entry into the race.

Details can be found at: http://floatforthefoodbank.org/

The race gives amateur boat builders a chance to row their cardboard and duct tape creations to victory or sink trying. Proceeds are donated to The Food Bank. $2,460 and approximately 1,800 pounds of healthy food were donated last year. So far in 2013, more than $6,000 in donations have been collected. Eighteen Columbia businesses are assisting with sponsorships.

The inaugural race attracted 20 boats built by businesses, families, student groups, corporate teams and radio stations. The boats were shaped like picnic baskets, stealth bombers and happy dogs complete with wagging tail and flapping tongue.

The Food Bank helps to feed more than 100,000 people each month in 32 counties in central and northeast Missouri, said Executive Director Peggy Kirkpatrick. It 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 race is part of a relationship between CAFNR and The Food Bank to boost healthy food donations. Called Collaborating for a Healthy Future, the project utilizes the College’s expertise, partnerships and knowledge in such areas as agriculture, economics and nutrition.

Registration deadline for teams is March 16. Teams can register at floatforthefoodbank.org. Corporate sponsorships are available by contacting Pridemore at The Food Bank, 573/474-1020, tpridemore@sharefoodbringhope.org.