Ice Bowl benefits Food Bank

Thanh -- January 29th, 2009

The Annual Harrisonburg Ice Bowl takes place this weekend Saturday January 31st at Westover Park. The Parks & Recreation Winter Activity Guide (page 6) says:

Join us for this annual fundraiser for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, and Our Community Place soup kitchen. Bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the BRAFB, or cash for OCP. All donations stay to benefit local people in need. The event is held in any weather conditions. All entries will receive a disc, or T-shirt. No Wimps, No Whiners! Contact Ed Steele at eds@harrisonburgva.gov for more details. Saturday, January 31 11:00 am Tee Time Registration 9:00 – 10:00 am day of event only $20 entry fee.

Ed Steele, Community Activities Director, explains that the Community Activities Center’s childcare programs (i.e. after school and summer programs) rely heavily on the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank of snack supplies for the participating kids. Generally, the Food Bank provides snacks and juice boxes. However, given the current economic climate where fewer donations are being made and there is increased need amongst individuals in the community for assistance, supplies at the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, and food banks across the nation, are running low.

The Community Activities Center has had to resort to buying juice themselves for the children, which is an unbudgeted expense that they are trying to regulate by purchasing a minimum amount at a time, hoping the Food Bank will be able to resume the supply. It is estimated that the Food Bank has saved the Activity Center and its childcare programs at least $5,000 annually. It is for this reason that the Activities Center enthusiastically support such programs as the Ice Bowl, which proceeds go directly to the Food Bank.

But this is of course not the only program the Food Bank benefits, some others include:

  • Backpack Program – There are children in America that rely on resources such as free or reduced-priced school lunch during the school year. The BackPack Program is designed to meet the needs of hungry children at times when other resources are not available, such as weekends and school vacations. Backpacks are filled with food that children take home on weekends. Food is child-friendly, nonperishable, easily consumed and vitamin fortified. Backpacks are discreetly distributed to children on the last day before the weekend or holiday vacation.
  • Kids Kafe – Kids Cafes are safe nurturing places where children can go after school to receive food, get help with homework, and participate in supervised activities. Currently, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Network sponsors 82 Kids Cafe sites, nurturing over 3,100 children each day.
  • Operation Angel – This program provides a nutritious take-home snack to at-risk preschool children who are not qualified to enroll in afterschool programs due to their age. These children may wait hours between lunch and dinner. Some may even face the possibility of having no dinner. Operation Angel Food works in partnership with early childhood education programs. At present, there are no resources for an afterschool snack for these children. Currently, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Network nurtures over 1000 children each day.
  • REACH – REACH stands for “Reaching the Elderly and Challenged Households.” The goal of REACH is to provide, with the help of neighborhood volunteers, nutritious, supplementary food to homebound seniors, low income seniors, and those with special needs.

Anyway, come join the Ice Bowl this Saturday and bring a non-perishable item and $20 to benefit the Food Bank and OCP and have a great time!  Or if you would prefer, you can drop off donated goods at the Harrisonburg Kroger, which is accepting donations on an on-going basis (see also list of area collection sites) or make your donation to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank at PO Box 937 Verona, VA 24482.

One Response to “Ice Bowl benefits Food Bank”

  1. Bell says:

    The ice bowl was a blast last year! Although it wa smore like the mudbowl since there was a quarter inch of ice on everything the night before but it was sunny and fifty the next day, but it looks like the temps are going to be fitting to the name this year

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