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'Shop to Stop Hunger' Rings Up 12,000 Meals for Food Bank

November 17, 2013

It was a supermarket sweep in Charlottesville Sunday night. Four shoppers competed during the Shop to Stop Hunger event held at Reid Super-Save Market.

"We're heading into the season where most of us are sitting at a table eating too much when our neighbors are hungry," said Jeanne McCusker, owner of Home Instead Senior Care and organizer of the race.

For 60 seconds each, participants darted down aisles, tossing boxes, bags and cans into their carts, all to help the thousands of Central Virginians without enough food on their tables.

"I am a firm believer that we are called to give what we have to others, and this was a great opportunity to do so," said Jay James of WINA and Jay James on Faith.

The estimated $2,000 to $3,000 worth of food grabbed, swiped and bagged will go to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.

Karen Ratzlaff, chief philanthropy officer for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, says more people are visiting the food bank as the temperature drops. She says the carts full of food will make a big impact.

"[It] translates into 12,000 meals for people in this area, which is just incredible. In one night, in four minutes total -- that's incredible," said Ratzlaff.

Michael Guthrie, CEO of Roy Wheeler Realty Company, racked up the longest receipt during the competition. He collected more than $280 worth of goods from the shelves. To him, it means more than a friendly competition.

"It's families coming home from school, families coming home from work and not worrying about having something to eat," said Guthrie. "and anytime you can do that, it's just great."

Guthrie also presented a check to the food bank for $620 from the Roy Wheeler agents. Another $400 is on the way.

Reid Super-Save Market also donated a cart of food to the cause.

"It means a lot because there are so many people in this town that are generous, but there are so many that are still in need," said McCusker.

Each month, about 26,000 people visit the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and its partner agencies for food.

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