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March 14, 2012 Volume 33, No. 24

Floating your boat helps feed mid-Missouri


Creativity is encouraged in boat entrees

Want to race a cardboard boat to help a local organization feed the hungry? The College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) and The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri are giving amateur boat builders a chance to float to victory. 

Float Your Boat for the Food Bank Cardboard Regatta is happening April 21 at A. Perry Philips Park, 5050 Bristol Lake Parkway.

Registration for racers ends March 21. All proceeds go toward supplying food to needy mid-Missourians. 

Float Your Boat is part of a 12-month commitment by CAFNR to boost food donations to The Food Bank. The college contributes by using its expertise, partnerships and knowledge in areas of agriculture, economics and nutrition.

For the project, CAFNR planted two acres of sweet corn at its Bradford Research Center to provide 14,000 ears to 28,000 ears for The Food Bank. Also, CAFNR students volunteered for The Food Bank’s Buddy Pack Program, where each week more than 8,600 children receive food to supplement meals.

Recent statistics show that one in six adults and one in four children in mid-Missouri are “food insecure,” which means they do not always know where they will get their next meal, said Peggy Kirkpatrick, Food Bank executive director. 

Float Your Boat is open to individuals, families, and organization and corporate teams. “This event will bring groups together to collaborate on an innovative, team-building project, culminating with a fun, unique competition while supporting a great cause,” said Kristen Smarr, director of communications at CAFNR.

A few boat construction rules are in place. 

The rowboats need to be large enough for at least two people and must be made of corrugated, non-waxed cardboard. Wood, Styrofoam, rubber or other inflatable devices are prohibited. Joints and seams may be glued or taped together, and decorations and corporate logos can be included as long as they don’t help the boat float.

“Teams are encouraged to get creative when building their boats,” Smarr said.

Prizes will be given to teams that place in the race, have the best-decorated boat and use cardboard creatively. 

Boats that don’t meet construction requirements can still compete in the Pirate Race, but no prize will be awarded to its winner.

For more information about the race, visit floatforthefoodbank

.org/index.php. To sponsor a boat, call Todd Pridemore at The Food Bank at 474-1020.

— Randy Mertens