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'What if' idea feeds hungry

Echo Press photo by Celeste Beam Alisa Sprain of Alexandria, a student in the child development program at Alexandria Technical College, along with her daughter, Kady Sprain, 3, weighed food donated by students during a food drive challenge at the school.1 / 2
Echo Press photo by Celeste Beam Members of Delta Epsilon Chi (DEX) counted money raised by the club for a food drive challenge at Alexandria Technical College last week. The members included (left to right) John Hayes of Alexandria, DEX president; Heidi Paine of Alexandria, DEX officer; and Alyssa Wagner of Hancock, DEX vice president.2 / 2

A food drive challenge among several clubs and programs at Alexandria Technical College resulted in nearly $730 in donations and more than 500 pounds of food.

The idea started with the Business Professionals of America (BPA) club.

"Our original goal was to run a food drive with BPA and then we realized that it would be great to do it with another club," said local BPA president, Teanna Allen of Alexandria.

BPA first decided to include Delta Epsilon Chi (DEX) because its club members like to do community service work like BPA, noted Allen.

Then, after thinking about it a little more, Allen said she decided it would be better to open the challenge up to the whole school.

"What if we could raise a bunch of food to donate back to the local community?" Allen thought.

So, that's when she started sending out e-mails to advisors of the various programs and clubs, asking if they wanted to participate in a challenge to see which club or program could raise the most food and/or money.

Besides the recognition of donating to the local food shelf, Allen said there was another incentive for the winning group - a doughnut party.

Allen noted that Pete's County Market, along with BPA and DEX, are providing doughnuts to the winning team.

"We know the point was to raise food and money," said Allen, "but we thought it would be nice to give them a little incentive."

Allen explained that because some of the clubs and groups have more members than some of the others, the amount of food donated, as well as the money, was averaged out per person to make it more fair.

For example, she said the child development program has 15 members, whereas DEX has about 150 members.

"The final count of the pounds of food was divided by the number of participants and that gave us an average pounds per person," she explained.

Although the final numbers aren't quite in, as of Monday afternoon, it looked like child development is the winner with an average of $32.83 per member. DEX was the second place winner with an average of $31.18 and BPA took third with an average of $26 per person.

There were a total of eight participating teams donating either food or money, or in some cases, both. Here are the participants and their totals:

•BPA - $89 and 75 pounds of food.

•Child development - $62 and 84 pounds of food.

•DEX - $187.05

•Diesel program - $55.

•Machine tool - 240 pounds of food.

•Marine small engine - $117.21 and 47 pounds of food.

•Mechatronics - $130.

•Welding - $22 and 65 pounds of food.

Other - $63.80.

The total amount of money raised was $726.06 and the total amount of food collected was 511 pounds.

All of the money and food was donated to the Douglas County Outreach Food Shelf on Monday.