Archive for Sunday, September 8, 2013

Church battles local hunger with food fight

September 8, 2013


Young people fought a messy food fight featuring ketchup, mustard, flour, mashed potatoes and water balloons Sunday evening at Christ Community Church. The three-round battle was aimed at raising  awareness about hunger.

Young people fought a messy food fight featuring ketchup, mustard, flour, mashed potatoes and water balloons Sunday evening at Christ Community Church. The three-round battle was aimed at raising awareness about hunger.

At about 7 p.m. this evening, hundreds of kids picked sides in a Lawrence field and prepared to fight.

They yelled taunts across the grass at one another. Rowdy high school boys ripped off their T-shirts in preparation for battle. And then it began.

The two sides rushed for containers filled with the first weapon: flour. After the field and its combatants were covered in a white powdery cloud, streams of red and yellow flew through the air as kids took aim with ketchup and mustard bottles.

Then they ran toward the containers filled with mashed potatoes and gravy. Using their hands as spoons, they poured the liquid potatoes and gravy over each other. To end the adult-sanctioned food fight, the youth, ages 12-19, launched more than 3,000 water balloons to clean off.

Fourteen-year-old Gretchen Boxberger had ketchup dripping down the side of her face and potatoes matted in her hair, but she said her messy clothes and skin were worth it for the fun she had.

“I’d do it again. It was fun trying to hit my friends with the food and chasing each other,” she said.

This had been a food fight that the kids had actually been encouraged to wage. The Third Battle Royal - a Food Fight Against Hunger, was designed to raise awareness of hunger in Lawrence.

Glenn Fletcher, pastor of student ministries at Christ Community Church, said more than 500 youth registered to participate in the food fight and at least 650 people attended the entire event on the church grounds, 1100 Kasold Drive. Other attractions included live music by Jonathan Thulin, hot dogs, popcorn, watermelon, a potato-carving contest and a slip-n-slide covered in chocolate syrup. The donated potatoes used in the food fight were inedible.

Fletcher estimated that the event helped the church collect about 2,600 pounds of food for Just Food, the Douglas County food bank, but he won’t know for sure until it's officially weighed by the organization on Monday.

“One of the biggest needs we have in the community is people who can’t afford to eat,” Fletcher said.

The church had a goal to raise 5,000 pounds of food, and although it didn’t meet that number, Fletcher said the number of people who came to Third Battle Royal exceeded expectations and helped remind the community of the need to help those less fortunate in Douglas County.


hooligan01 4 years, 7 months ago

Does anyone else think this is a little odd? The goal is to end hunger, yet they go around having a "food fight". While I know the stuff they wasted wasn't much (in the big picture), it just seems pretty odd. Needless to say, I'll never donate a single thing to their cause in the future after this.

Jayhawk_4_Life 4 years, 7 months ago

That was the first thing that crossed my mind too. Different note, in the last paragraph I think it should be "meet" instead of "meat" unless the author was going for some weird pun.

Andrew Applegarth 4 years, 7 months ago

Just Food was just the recipient of the donations and advertising. Christ Community Church was the organizer and host of the event. All solicitation of donations and decisions about the event were made by the church. If you have a problem with the event, don't take it out on Just Food.

The food that was used in the food fight was donated to the church for the purpose of the food fight. It was not food that had been donated to Just Food nor did this event take any food away from them. In fact, as mentioned in the article, it resulted in Just Food gaining about 2600 pounds of food in donations.

While some edible food was used, the amount of potatoes (for carving), flour, ketchup, mustard, and chocolate syrup used was much less than what the event brought in for Just Food. I can't speak for Just Food, but I would guess that they would rather have the 2600 pounds of food the event raised than the stuff that was used to put on the event, not that anybody would have donated those items to them if they hadn't been purchased for this event. Likewise, the potatoes used in the food fight were ones that were considered inedible and would not have been of any use to Just Food. They were not were not made special for the event. They were a capture of food otherwise bound for the dumpster.

So, yes, the event is a little odd. Perhaps ironic is a better term, as the purpose is to raise awareness as well as donations. If you have a better idea for raising awareness and donations for Just Food, I'm sure they would be delighted to be the recipient from your event as well. If not, we'd love to see you at the Fourth Annual Battle Royal next year.

Jeanette Kekahbah 4 years, 7 months ago

waste is waste, it is still wrong no matter how small...and minimizing the waste to justify gain, well, puts a bad taste in my mouth. yeah, wasting food, playing with food, what a great lesson for youth...the article got one thing spot on - make food a weapon.

i'd like to see a church do something for people without doing anything against people - no preaching, hooks, no disrespect of any thing...

and the recipient here...well, they gain accountability along with the canned goods.

oh yeah i have better ideas and it's so grand you clarified that christ community isn't willing to consider mine or those of others - nice PR attempt with your deflection.

dare you to find a better way. not a difficult challenge. would still get your church media coverage to change to a less offensive strategy. perhaps more of the lawrence community would perceive your church more positively if your conduct was more Christ-like.

Topple 4 years, 7 months ago

The food they used in the event was the cost of the event. It attracted attention, and garnered food donations for a good cause.

It's no different than an organization giving someone an iPod for raising $1000 for a charity. That shirt cost money that could have gone to the charities cause, but was an incentive to get the person to raise more money. The food fight was a cheap, fun event to bring attention to the cause. Like hiring a local band. What they spent that $100 on doesn't really matter, because it would have been spent on something. You want to get up in arms about waste, go protest government subsidies for farmers to let crops rot, or not plant fields.

By the way, how much food donation did you gather this week with your superior methods? I'm guessing about 2600 lbs less than this event did. But you keep acting high and mighty, criticizing people who are actually doing some good in the community while you do nothing.

Chelsea Kapfer 4 years, 7 months ago

the event was in poor taste. Using food as a toy, or publicity stunt is making a mockery of people who are starving.

Jeanette Kekahbah 4 years, 7 months ago

1) i've received a nomination for a united way lifetime achievement award.

2) you know nothing about farming or farm subsidies. btw, yes, i do. plenty. i was raised on a farm. my family farms. learn before you speak.

3) my points are valid.

4) have a nice day.

nlfelch 4 years, 7 months ago

Ok something were not mention in the article! I was one of the teens at the food fight and the mash potatoes were spoiled food that people were going to throw away we ended up using. Do you want to give spoiled food to homeless people be my guest but more and likely you don't. The ketchup and mustard are condiments and I don't think homeless people are just going to sit there and drink ketchup and mustard. This is a fun event that you always look at the negatives on. We gathered 2600 pounds of food over 1000 of those pounds were collected by teens! So even with wasting that food we were able to give them 2600 pounds to them!

RubyVrooom 4 years, 7 months ago

I just want to point out that it's not just homeless people who rely on the food from food pantries to eat. It's also people with homes and jobs, families, probably even kids you know from school. Anyway, thanks for helping with the cause.

Jeanette Kekahbah 4 years, 7 months ago

those teens could work a garden and grow local, fresh, organic food to donate. healthy food collected in a healthy way. that church has enough land to produce several times the amount of food gathered. plus those teens would actually learn and appreciate life skills.

Jeanette Kekahbah 4 years, 7 months ago

those teens could work a garden and grow local, fresh, organic food to donate. healthy food collected in a healthy way. that church has enough land to produce several times the amount of food gathered. plus those teens would actually learn and appreciate life skills.

LegendaryBeast 4 years, 7 months ago

Nothing fights hunger quite like wasting food! Of course churches are well known for their opposite-of-logical approach to life.

rubio 4 years, 7 months ago

2600lbs + of food added to the Food Pantry? =Win Discarded food that would have ended up in a dumpster being used to allow kids to have FREE fun AND maybe connect the irony of the waste and plenty we have? =Win Great event- don't let these posters get you down!

RubyVrooom 4 years, 7 months ago

It's not about the numbers, it's about the symbolism. You're saying, we care so much about hunger that we're going to waste food by literally throwing it around. Hey hungry people, we have SO MUCH FOOD that we can just rub it in each other's hair and such. I'm surprised that no one involved at any point in the planning process realized how insensitive this was.

deec 4 years, 7 months ago

You are absolutely correct. While one can appreciate the desire to restock local food pantries, food waste is a huge component in why we have hunger in the first place. According to the USDA, up to 40 percent of all food in the U.S. is wasted annually.

SarahG 4 years, 7 months ago

Great fun, great cause. Not sure why people can't seem to just congratulate kids for getting these donations? What did you do to benefit your community's food shortage this weekend?

Jeanette Kekahbah 4 years, 7 months ago

i would congratulate kids who grew food, not kids who had fun playing with food.

ThingTwo 4 years, 7 months ago

Didn't your parents ever tell you, "Don't play with your food!". I believe this is a value instilled at a very early age and why it seems to be a bit crass when someone reads about this event. In some cultures, food is honored and given back to the earth by sacrificing part of your dinner in a symbolic gesture of thanks. People would also call this throwing good food away. I would like to think that when placed in the context of blessings and not fighting, a balance in awareness and action could be discovered.

amazed 4 years, 7 months ago

Yes I agree. This event was in very poor taste.

purplesage 4 years, 7 months ago

This is an odd way to promote the need for donations. Waste what you are requesting? It was obviously popular; but that isn't the measure of success or of propriety.

I'm opposed to battery operated everything. I really can turn on the water, flush the toilet, get a squirt of soap without a low-voltage electronic device to get it for me. What about all those batteries? And the water down the drain when the stick in the "on" position? That's waste, too.

Our fuel is up to 10% ethanol - made from corn and beans. The result of what seemed like a good idea has been an increase in global food prices. And, it takes about 2 gallons of fossil fuel to make a gallon of "green" fuel. Not good conservation.

As to the church and its mission: the marching orders are to "Go into all the world." In the going, preaching of the Gospel is the first command. God's love, shown in the gift of Jesus Christ, cannot be separated from why the church exists. It occurs to me that when He fed 5,000, 12 baskets were collected by the disciples. No food fight. Christ Community is a good church but I think they made a poor choice with this activity. I have no doubt they meant well.

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