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Freezin’ for a Reezin’ tops turnout for last year

During Freezin' for a Reezin' last Friday volunteers at the Community Food Basket in Ottawa restock shelves with donated food.
During Freezin' for a Reezin' last Friday volunteers at the Community Food Basket in Ottawa restock shelves with donated food.

This is the biggest year yet for Freezin' for a Reezin’ — both in terms of the amount of non-perishable food donated and the amount of cash donated.

The food drive held last Friday, headed by Ottawa radio stations WCMY 1430 AM and 95.3 Jack FM, replenishes the shelves of the Community Food Basket of Ottawa though an annual food drive held in the parking lot of the Handy Foods IGA supermarket in Ottawa.

“Of course, the donations keep rolling in for a couple of weeks after,” CFB co-director Marisa Vicich said Wednesday. “But right now we’ve exceeded both poundage and monetary donations for any of the past years.”

This year, 55,000 pounds of food were collected versus 43,000 pounds last year, WCMY/WRKX General Manager Rob Klemm reported Wednesday.

In terms of cash, this year $44,252 was collected versus $42,400 last year, he said.

That’s enough to fill the food basket’s needs though March — and most likely through April, Vicich said.

One change in this year’s record food collection is there were more than 40 sponsors for the “500 Pound Challenge” where organizations vow to donate 500 pounds of non-perishable goods.

Plus, the donations are not limited to 500 pounds.

“Those folks bring in sometimes over 1,000 pounds at a whack,” Klemm said.

Advantech B+B SmartWorx of Ottawa alone brought in more than 2,000 pounds of food, Vicich said.

Another factor for the turnout boost was a much larger and comprehensive marketing plan for Freezin’, Klemm said.

“We doubled the size of our paying sponsors and that helped market the event by having signage in their buildings,” Klemm said. “Through their involvement we run promotional announcements on the air thanking them — which helps get the word out.

“Plus, it didn’t hurt that it was a nice day,” he said.

- To learn more about the Community Food Basket, including the various ways to donate, visit ottawafoodbasket.org.

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