Food fight! (For a great cause)

By Kassidy Christensen

April 6, 2017 12:00 AM

PUT 'EM UP From left, Patricia Brockhoff, office manager at Wayside Dental Centre, Dr. Nekky Jamal with Wayside Dental Centre, Danny Ulmer, general manager at Silverwood Toyota, and Alex Pilgrim, general sales manager and partner with Ulmer, are facing off until April 28 in a Fight For Food to see which business wins by collecting the most food by weight for the Salvation Army Lloydminster Food Bank. The loser will buy the winner and all food bank volunteers lunch. Please see story on page 4. KASSIDY CHRISTENSEN LLS PHOTO

Battling businesses duke it out to help the needy

Fists full of food will determine the winner of this fight.
Silverwood Toyota and Wayside Dental Centre are squaring off in a Fight For Food to restock the shelves at the Salvation Army Lloydminster Food Bank.
Up until April 28, the two organizations will be encouraging staff, customers and community members to donate non-perishable food items at either of the participating businesses.
Whoever collects the most food by weight will be crowned the champ, and the loser will have to buy lunch for the winners and all food bank volunteers.
Danny Ulmer, general manager at Silverwood Toyota, said the competition got started because he saw in the Source there was a need at the food bank and how they didn’t get as much food over Christmas as they normally would.
“They (the food bank) were (at) a double digit growth year-over-year, and they were a lot shorter this year than they were in previous years,” Ulmer said, adding his wife works at Wayside Dental and she was telling him the dental office was already raising food, so the idea to start a competition was conceived.
“We came up with the idea to have a fight, a competition, between the two stores to raise awareness for the need and have some fun and help the food bank,” Ulmer said.
Dr. Nekky Jamal, from Wayside Dental Centre,  said the dental office and Silverwood Toyota are good friends and partners in the community.
“This is the least we could do to give back and we thought it was just such a great idea,” Jamal said.
The local food bank has been facing bare shelves due to a higher demand from families in the community, and an overall lack of donations.
Between January and March, the food bank saw 447 families access its services, up from 247 families between January and March of 2015.
The food bank is reporting 40 families on average, of which two thirds have children, are accessing the service each week, up from a previously reported average of 30 families per week near the end of February 2017.
The food bank’s average family of three people receives 75 lbs. of food during a visit, meaning on a weekly basis, they are giving out roughly 3,000 lbs. of food.
Ulmer said there is a need and there are a lot of people in the community that can’t even feed their kids.
“They’re sending their kids to school without food. We’re an affluent enough community, and that should never happen in a community like this.
“We’ve got a lot of people that are still working and there’s a huge need here, and why can’t we just help each other out. If we’re not going to help, then who is,” Ulmer said.
Patricia Brockhoff, office manager at Wayside Dental Centre, said she has been previously involved with the Salvation Army Food Bank and rallies her friends and coworkers to give back.
“A lot of people that don’t use the food bank, it’s kind of out of sight, out of mind,” Brockhoff said.
“I think it’s really important that all of us have food on our table every night, that we don’t take it for granted, because there are more families than we ever really want to realize in this community that are hungry every night, and their kids go to school and they don’t have lunches.”
Jamal added Brockhoff tries to raise food donations within their office at least monthly, and said, “she’s such a huge champion of this cause and I couldn’t be more proud.”
For Jamal, the cause is important to him because growing up, he and his dad did not have a lot, and sometimes needed to take advantage of the food bank.
“This is incredibly fortunate that we’re now in a position that we can help garner support and bring more food to the food bank and help raise awareness amongst our patients and amongst all the people at Silverwood. It’s just such a great idea to help inspire other businesses to do the same and help garner support and build up the food bank,” he said.
Maj. Lisa O’Doherty, community ministries officer with the Salvation Army Lloydminster, said she is excited for the competition because the food bank is even emptier since she last spoke with the Source in late February.
“Without the support of local people, we can’t supply people with food,” O’Doherty said. “I’m excited we have these kinds of events going on.”
Each business will promote among their staff and customers to donate to the food bank by either bringing in their own food items or purchasing a $10 or $20 food bag. The food bags have been provided by the Lloydminster & District Co-op, and will be available at the competing businesses.
Brockhoff said ideally, Wayside Dental would like to be able to donate 1,000 lbs. worth of food.
“I have no doubt we’ll get there right away,” Jamal said.
Brockhoff explained they will be encouraging their staff and customers to donate by putting the word out on Facebook, have it up in their staff room, and have the food and food bags visible for patients or anyone to see.
“We’ll also accept any non-perishable food items that anybody wants to bring in too,” she said.
As an extra incentive, “Any patient that does purchase one of the food bags or brings food to drop off for donation, we’ll be entering their name in for a free in-office teeth whitening,” Brockhoff said.
As for Ulmer, he is looking to donate as much as humanly possible.
“Enough to beat these guys,” Ulmer said, flashing a smile and a laugh towards Brockhoff and Jamal.
“We’re going to get flats of soup and for every oil change, as they arrive, we’re going to give a can of soup to the customer … just letting them know about the food drive,” Ulmer said, adding they will build a pyramid out of the cans.
“We’ll probably have 250 oil changes over the course of the four weeks,” he said.
To beef up Silverwood’s incentive for donations, Ulmer said they’re giving away an oil change.
“Anybody that buys a food bag (or donates food) will enter into a draw for a free oil change,” he said.
wwSome items in higher demand at the food bank include: canned vegetables, soups, meat and fish, one litre juice and juice boxes, kids lunch snacks, ravioli or Alpha-getti, macaroni and cheese, cereal, shampoo and conditioner, rice and diapers.

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