A Reverse Grocery Cart Race?

Strategizing at the starting line. There may have been a little "friendly" trash talking too. 😉

I’m sure you’ve all heard of a grocery cart race.  You know, usually a publicity stunt where two or more competitors race to fill their grocery carts with food items?  But, have you heard of a a reverse grocery cart race?  No?

Well, neither had I, until I got a phone call from Aaron at the Iowa Food and Family Project.  Aaron was looking for volunteers from a farming lifestyle to participate in a reverse grocery cart race, and he thought I’d like to do it.  It entailed two teams of two people.  Each team would get a pre-loaded cart with approximately 20 items in it, that they would then have to race to put back on the shelf.  Each team would consist of a farm wife and a local celebrity.  And the good cause was the Iowa Food Bank Association and the Northeast Iowa Food Bank.

$2000 to a worthy cause....feeding the hungry right here in Iowa.

The race would be a token race, resulting in a $2000 donation from the Midwest Dairy Association to the food bank.  The location was the Waterloo HyVee store, and the local celebrities were KWWL news anchor Danielle Wagner (my teammate) and Waterloo mayor Buck Clark who was teamed with my counterpart, Jordan Hansen from Hansen Dairy, near Hudson. (P.S. If you only have time to click on one link in this article, check out Hansen Dairy’s page, they have a really neat thing going on!)

Our strategy was to leave the cart behind and run with the items in our arms.

The actual race was a blast!  Danielle and I strategized to leave our cart in one place, load our arms, and split up to put the items back individually.  We figured that would be easier than pushing the cart around the other shoppers in the store.  So we were off and running through the aisles.  Let me tell you, they gave us some crazy items to put back, and they were ALL OVER the store!  Aaron was giving the play by play over the p/a system at the store, and many of the shoppers got into it by helping us out.  There were also many HyVee employees willing to point us in the right direction. We didn’t win, but we were close!   So much fun!

Let me just say a little about all the players in this game:

First, the Iowa Food Bank Association and the Northeast Iowa Food bank.  Did you know that 13% of Iowa’s population struggles with hunger?  Over 50,000 of of those individuals are in Northeast Iowa.  There is a real need right here at home to help out those around us.  What a great opportunity this was to raise awareness!

Next, the Iowa Food and Family Project.  It is an initiative that is dedicated to fostering positive, enduring relationships between farmers and consumers.  More than 20 farm, retail, and food relief organizations are supporters of this cause that is funded in part by the Soybean Checkoff.  They are planning to do a really cool display at the Iowa State Fair in the Varied Industries building, with the theme “Together We CAN!”  There will be huge creations built from canned foods by Canstruction.  I, for one, am definitely going to check that out when I’m down there!

Finally, HyVee.  HyVee is an Iowa based chain of awesome grocery stores.  They are employee owned, and their theme is “A helpful smile in every aisle.”  Shopping there is an experience.  So many food choices, all under one roof!  Since participating in this event, I have a new appreciation for them.  I love HyVee, I just wish there was one closer to me!

The whole experience was just so much fun for me, and a positive reinforcement that the spirit of charity is alive and well here in Iowa.  Donate to your local food bank, a noble cause for sure.

Look at this neato creation from Canstruction! I cannot wait to see displays like this in real life at the state fair!!


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Wayne Nieman on August 8, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    There were no losers in this “race”. Nice job.

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