Fight for a Cause: Beating Hunger at Its Own Game
One of my all-time favorite TV show is Cheers. So when I hear the term “food fight,” I often think about the dysfunctional Cheers gang getting on each other’s nerves during Thanksgiving and the ensuing events that escalate into an all-out food fight. The scene was well-written, the buildup of tension was masterful, viewers like me wanted to be a part of it, and we wished it didn’t end.
When I got a call last year from the Twin Cities NBC affiliate, KARE-11, saying that they wanted to put on a Food Fight, I instantly asked how C.H. Robinson could help. The goal was simple: collect as many food donations as we could in one day. To add to the fun, four of the station’s anchors—Belinda Jensen, Julie Nelson, Eric Perkins, and Randy Shaver—would lead teams and compete for 12 hours to fill trucks with the donated food.
We immediately got to work. C.H. Robinson employee volunteers were enlisted to collect the donations at each location. Being in the logistics industry, C.H. Robinson offered to donate the required transportation to deliver the donations to Second Harvest Heartland, one of largest, most efficient, and most innovative food banks.
The timing was perfect, as the Food Fight was held on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and the need for donations at local food shelves was high. KARE-11 did a great job of getting the word out, and the anchors got into the competitive spirit by positioning themselves as the future winner of the Food Fight. Local celebrities and people in the community got into the act and started proclaiming allegiances for either #TeamBel, #TeamJulie, #TeamPerk, or #TeamRandy.
The day started out clear but very chilly. We were initially concerned that people wouldn’t show up due to the polar vortex weather, but the outpouring of support was awesome. At the end of the day, an impressive 860,000 pounds of donated food was collected. This allowed Second Harvest to provide almost 680,000 meals to those in need.
When KARE-11 called this year and asked how we felt about a second helping of the Food Fight, it was easy to say we wanted to be a part of this wonderful food drive again. This year’s event, which will be held on Tuesday, November 25, is setting up to be bigger and better.
So, how can you get involved? First, check out this link to see the items that are needed most by Second Harvest. Next, choose one of the four donation locations and come meet the designated KARE-11 anchor (I’ll be with #TeamRandy all day).
If you’re not in Minneapolis, please make a donation online in support of the team of your choosing. Finally, stay tuned via Twitter (@CHRobinson) throughout the day for updates and photos from each site. We will be tracking the social media mentions of every team. The team with the most mentions will be awarded an additional 2,000 pounds of food. How’s that for competition!
Each donation site is sure to have its own unique surprises and, just like the food fight episode of Cheers, we’ll wish it doesn’t end.