Mid-Missouri Food Bank Benefits from MU Food Drive

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COLUMBIA - The MU Homecoming Food Drive hosted the Tiger Food Fight Friday outside the MU Student Center.

Homecoming directors worked to fill nearly 20 totes full of cans before the food bank brought two semi-trucks to take the food back to The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri.

By the end of the event, almost all totes were overflowing with a variety of vegetables, beans, and all sorts of canned goods.

The communications coordinator for the food bank, Scott Gordon, says this year seems to be the best one yet.

"The recent trends have been increasing," Gordon said.  "We're very grateful for that.  This year I think that we're looking at having 25 totes, and each tote holds about 1,000 pounds."

In addition to this, volunteers stood outside to collect monetary donations.  Jordan Denker is a homecoming director.  She said last year the homecoming directors started to put more emphasis on collecting money because the food bank can get more food with less money.

"The food bank can actually get 15 pounds of food for every dollar, which is obviously a lot more than we could get going into a grocery store with a dollar," Denker said.

Denker said that most monetary donations come from the Tigers Taming Hunger events where volunteers stand outside grocery stores to ask for donations.

The events held on campus like Tiger Food Fight get mostly canned donations.

The food bank services 130 different food banks among 32 counties.  One of these banks hits close to home for many tigers.

"The Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri actually provides for a lot of different food banks and pantries, including Tiger Pantry  which gives back right to our students, which is a great thing for us to give back to the people that are giving," Denker said.

Last year the Homecoming Food Drive raised 140,000 pounds of food.

Gordon said he thinks they are on their way to surpassing this goal.

The final numbers from the Tiger Food Fight won't be released until next week at the earliest.

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