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Iowa Hospice holds ISU vs. UI food drive

BY MATT STARNS | SEPTEMBER 09, 2011 7:20 AM

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During a difficult stretch for food shelves across Iowa, rising enthusiasm ahead of the state’s most anticipated football game should provide some relief.  Today marks the third annual Iowa Hospice Iowa State vs. University of Iowa Food Drive. More than two dozen Hy-Vee stores across the state — including the location at 1914 Eighth St., Coralville — will participate in the food drive.

Monica Hayes, the director of admissions for Iowa Hospice, said fans choose which team their nonperishable food items will support. The Hawks took the proverbial trophy last year.

“The rivalry across the state will excite people and encourage them to make donations to push ‘their’ team ahead of the other,” Hayes said in a press release.

Iowa Hospice officials said they hope this year’s food drive will bring more than 20,000 items. In addition to food, volunteers manning the donation stations will accept monetary donations, a first in the history of the event.

Last year, fans donated more than 17,000 food items across the state.

“We’re doing this to help all the food banks across the state of Iowa,” said Stacie Rasmussen, the coordinator of the Iowa City donation center. “Any donations, be they monetary or food, will help the food banks, and that’s really the goal.”

Volunteers and staffers from all 14 Iowa Hospice locations will cheer on their local communities as they attempt to beat last year’s record.

“It’s a great opportunity to be able to give back to our community,” said Katie Simms, coordinator for the Ames food drive. “All the food is going locally to the food banks and shelters.”

She said food banks should be especially grateful this year.

“They’ve been running low the last few months,” she said. “That’s a big motivator for us.”

The winner of the food drive will be announced during the Iowa State/Iowa football game on Saturday. A check will be presented, along with the food donations, to the Food Bank of Iowa at Iowa Hospice’s tent, located southwest of Iowa State’s Hilton Coliseum.

Items in the highest demand include cans of vegetables, fruit, chicken, tuna fish, soup, boxes of macaroni and cheese, crackers, rice, noodles, fruit juice, coffee, and tea.

Ultimately, the competition will take a back seat to the drive’s main goal: helping those in need.

“That’s kind of what hospice is about,” Simms said. “Taking care of others.”


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