Fundraiser helps fill shelves of local food pantries
10/06/2012 Elmwood Park Brad Mcelligott 18, of Joliet, fills his cart with pasta during the Lions Club International District 1a's 2nd Annual Grocery Dash at Super Low Foods in Elmwood Park on Saturday, October 6, 2012. Mcelligott was collecting food for Our Saviors Lutheran Church food pantry in Burbank, Ill. and was able to grab $1835.08 in food within 3 minutes during the dash. | michael jarecki ~ for Sun-Times Media
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Updated: November 12, 2012 11:05AM
ELMWOOD PARK — Under time constraints a local food store let three people fill as many carts as they could with food for free recently as part of a local fundraiser.
The three winners of District 1A Lions Club’s raffle to participate in Grocery Dash had only a few minutes Oct. 6 to take as much food as they could from the shelves at Super Low Foods, 7411 Grand Ave.
But instead of the winners stocking their own shelves with free food, they donated their winning ticket to local food pantries and a member of each food pantry participated in the event.
The ticket that was chosen first was donated to Orland Township Food Pantry and gave the person 7 minutes to get as much food with that time. The second ticket was donated to St. Celestine Food Pantry in Elmwood Park receiving 5 minutes and the third was donated to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church’s food pantry in Burbank and had 3 minutes.
Joe Palazzolo, co-chairman of the event, said the three winners collected $4,416.46 worth of food total.
This is the second time the District 1A of the Lions Club put on the Grocery Dash event and proceeds from raffle ticket sales cover the cost of the food collected. District 1A is comprised of individual Lions Clubs throughout the Chicagoland area including Mont Clare-Elmwood Park Lions Club.
Palazzolo said those representing the different food pantries just didn’t go for anything they saw in the store. They went in with a plan.
“Orland Park Food Pantry, they did a lot of peanut butter, fruit cocktail and soups,” he said. “St. Celestine collected a lot of rice, cereal and pasta.”
He said the person representing Our Savior’s Lutheran Church collected a lot of can goods and pastas.
“They all got five and six baskets (full of food),” he said. “They did really well. They grabbed the cart, did the shopping and pushed it to the checkout line.”
While they scrambled to get as much food as possible there was a group of supporters in the store cheering them on.
Palazzo said the event was fun, but at the same time it’s going to make an impact at people’s dinner tables.
“It’s really nice to see such individuals and organizations receive the food and stock up the shelves,” he said. “Just to see them help everybody is a good thing.”