For 20 years, media rock stars from our local TV and Radio stations gather to kick off “Check Out Hunger,” hosted by our friends at Natural Grocers. This campaign raises funds for Food Bank of the Rockies’ (FBR) Children’s programs through the FBR Nutrition Network. Teams of two strategize how they’ll fill up their grocery carts in three minutes, not to exceed a pre-selected dollar amount. Certain aisles are marked off as acceptable shopping areas, teams can only chose 3 of any item and can’t select anything over $3.00. Each pair checks out at the conclusion of the three minute time period and the team closest to the total, without going over, is deemed the Shop O Rama Champion. They walk away proudly with the coveted shopping cart trophy and set the bar for the next year’s festivities.
This year, we were excited to welcome Dom, Jeremy and Emily from Mix 100 as first time participants. Murphy Huston of KOSI 101 showed his yearly allegiance with co-worker Kathy, FOX 31’s Melody Mendez partnered with Emily and made a spunky match and the lovely Karen Leigh of CBS 4 teamed with Kemper, an owner of Natural Grocers.
Shop O Rama is typically three minutes of chaos for most teams, but Dom and Jeremy calmly filled their cart, made careful and deliberate choices and stood in line, waiting to check out before the three minutes were used up. Never before has this happened at Shop O Rama. Did they win? Yes they did. What’s even more shocking is the fact that they came within $2 under the goal. Don’t think that’s ever happened either. All of this without breaking a sweat. Karen Leigh and Kemper took an impressive second, just a few dollars under the total.
To participate in “Check Out Hunger,” shoppers simply pick up $1 or $5 coupons at the check-out aisles in Natural Grocers stores across northern Colorado from November 1st through December 31st. Natural Grocers has pledged to match each dollar donated at check-out stands through the end of the year. Throughout the eight year partnership with Natural Grocers, over $277,000 has been raised to fight childhood hunger. “Check Out Hunger” makes it easy to assist FBR in its effort to feed children in need. One out of seven Coloradans worry about where their next meal will come from. 42% of those served through FBR’s partner agencies are children. “We’re hopeful that donations during the holiday season will put us on track with where we need be to keep up with growing demand and we’re incredibly grateful to all our donors who have contributed during continuing tough economic times,” says FBR CEO, Kevin Seggelke.
We had a blast (as we always do) with our media participants and friends at Natural Grocers. Special thanks to all our media participants and to Natural Grocers and their customers for supporting Food Bank of the Rockies in our fight against childhood hunger.