Hitting the greens to help area food shelves

Tammy Sakry
Anoka County Union

Fore! The inaugural Drive Out Hunger (DOH) Golf-a-thon will be taking to the greens Sept. 21.

Starting at 7 a.m., golfers will be trying to play as many holes as they can before 6 p.m., said Lee Ege, DOH chairman.

The golf-a-thon will be held at the 27-hole Ponds Golf Course, 2881 229th Ave. N.W., St. Francis.

Registration and the continental breakfast will begin at 6 a.m. and the shotgun start will be at 7 a.m.

The cost of the event is $300 for a foursome or $75 for single players.

Single players will be teamed up to create foursomes, Ege said.

Ege asks that golfers must notify DOH a week before the event of their intent of playing.

They want to let This Little Piggy Catering know how many box lunches to prepare, he said.

The 30 teams of golfers will also be collecting pledges.

The pledges will be based on the number of holes they play, not the number of strokes, Ege said.

“We are hoping to received at least 50 cents a hole,” he said.

At the end of the event, This Little Piggy will cater a dinner and DOH will be giving several awards, including for best score, most unique pledge and most pledges.

Non-golfers are invited to attend the dinner. Tickets are $35.

“It will be a good time for everyone,” Ege said.


Fulfilling needs

Proceeds from the event will be used by DOH to help food shelves in Anoka, Isanti and Sherburne counties.

DOH, which is a 501-C, works with eight food shelves in the three counties, Ege said.

The golf-a-thon proceeds are intended to help with new equipment, repairs, redesign and remodeling of interior spaces or parking lot improvements at the food shelves, he said.

In Anoka County, DOH is planning to help two food shelves, Anoka County Brotherhood Council (ACBC) in Anoka and North Anoka County Emergency (NACE) in Easth Bethel, with large projects.

The ACBC facility is currently undergoing an expansion and DOH plans on purchasing a walk-behind forklift and a floor scale for weighing in donations and deliveries, which will be around $16,000.

DOH is also planning to help with NACE’s plans to expand, cost estimates are still being worked on, Ege said.

For the Elk River food shelf, Community Aid Elk River (CAER), DOH will be using approximately $30,000 in golf-a-thon proceeds will help expand the parking lot and remodel the interior to give the facility a grocery store-like flow, he said.

“These projects will allow the food shelves to better serve their communities,” Ege said.

Before deciding which projects to give money to, DOH did a need assessment of the eight food shelves, which submitted grant applications.

After receiving the application, the seven-member committee inspected the food shelves and tried to bring in corporate partners to help with the projects and planned fund-raisers to raise the funds, Ege said.

Although the food shelves receive donations of food and money, few organization consider how the facilities store the food. DOH looks at the facility, refrigeration and storage needs, he said.

In some cases, Thanksgiving donations are stored in volunteers’ vehicles because there is no space to store them. The weather can not always be counted on to keep things cold, he said.

Sometimes food shelves rely on their volunteers to store donations in their personal refrigerators, Ege said.

While food shelves receive money donations, those funds go to purchase additional food to meet the increasing demand, he said.

“There is no grant money for capital improvements,” Ege said.

According to its website, DOH is helping some of the food shelves replace the residential refrigerators and freezers with newer energy efficient commercial grade appliances.


Registration forms for the golf-a-thon can be found at BOB FM, 14443 Armstrong Blvd., Ramsey; at ACBC Food Shelf, 2615 Ninth Ave., Anoka; CAER 19279 Watson St. N.W., Elk River; or the DOH website, www.driveouthungermn.org.