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Will Race for Food

46 boats compete in the Float Your Boat for the Food Bank race.

The swan raced neck-and-neck with the Gumdrop Express, the yellow duck with its giant head steadily guided her ducklings to shore, while the Crawdaddy clawed its way to the finish line.

Forty-six cardboard boats constructed by student groups, community organizations, businesses, individuals, families and media companies competed in the April 20 Float Your Boat for the Food Bank race in Columbia.

The race was a fundraiser to help The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri feed hungry Missourians. More than $17,000 in donations were collected.

Boats were constructed of cardboard, duct tape and glue, and the imagination of their builders.  They included pink race cars, Viking war boats, pirate ships and canoes with puppy dog faces.

“Every dollar raised equals 11 meals or 15 pounds of food on tables in the 32 counties served by The Food Bank,” said Chris Sisk, special events coordinator at The Food Bank.

The majority of people receiving food are poor working families, the elderly and children,” said Tom Payne, vice chancellor and University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources dean, who came up with the idea for the race. “Seventy percent of Food Bank clients are working women with at least one child.”

The race is a joint effort by CAFNR and The Food Bank.  Last year’s inaugural race attracted 20 boats, and raised $2,460 in cash and approximately 1,800 pounds of food donations.

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