Shopper-contestants battle it out in charitable Race for Hunger

Local celebrities Mike Dever, Lawrence mayor, left, and Baldwin City Council Member Kent Wagner raced through the aisles on Wednesday at Hy-Vee, 3500 Clinton Pkwy.

Lawrence Mayor Mike Dever, left, looks at Roberta Lehmann, office manager of Pyle Meat Co. in Eudora, as she checks her shopping list Wednesday at the Race for Hunger. Local celebrities raced through the aisles at Hy-Vee, 3504 Clinton Parkway, for groceries that would be donated to their favorite charities as part of the National Farm Bureau’s Food Check-Out Week.

Five Lawrence personalities with five ribbon-and-balloon-clad shopping carts, a list of items and seven minutes on the clock.

On your mark, get set, shop!

The Race for Hunger, in which contestants were to grab as many items off their lists as possible, took place Wednesday at Hy-Vee, 3504 Clinton Parkway, as part of the National Farm Bureau’s Food Check-Out Week.

Participants included Lawrence Mayor Mike Dever, local radio host Hank Booth and 6News director Cody Howard.

“This event is held all over the country,” said Jamie Knabe, of the Douglas County Farm Bureau. “It’s just our way of making people aware that farmers and ranchers … are still trying to provide affordable food for America.”

This year, the Farm Bureau’s focus is “Stretching Your Food Dollar with Healthy Nutritious Food,” because of the economic crisis and the rising cost of food.

This year’s winner, with 19 items, was Roberta Lehmann, office manager of Pyle Meat Co. in Eudora and daughter of Eudora Mayor Tom Pyle.

Second place went to Dever, with 18 items, and third to Ken Wagner, a member of the Baldwin City Council, who pulled 15 food items from the shelves.

The total amount of groceries collected by the contestant-shoppers was $210.09. The food from their carts will be donated to a local food bank of their choice.