Thursday morning, Raccoon Valley Radio, the Hotel Pattee, and the Perry Hy-Vee got together to present the Perry Area Food Pantry with three pallets of food, which was purchased with the help of the annual Caring Christmas Food Drive.
At a stop hosted at Hy-Vee and sponsored by the hotel, Tom Maxwell, the owner of the hotel, offered a match of up to $500 in cash donations given that night. What resulted was $1,050 in donations that would go towards purchasing commodities for the local food pantry. That money in turn was spent at Hy-Vee, which sold the food at cost to make sure the generosity was stretched as far as it could go.
Perry Hy-Vee Store Manager Matt Rohe said he feels generosity is contagious, which is why he wanted to get involved. “This all started, honestly, because the hotel obviously did their match, and that really challenged my thinking. (I) decided, ‘Okay, I will match the hotel.’ So sometimes that’s how it works, someone steps up. The hotel stepped up first and did a great thing, so then I was like, ‘We’ve got to do it, too.’ So maybe next year we can have more businesses stepping up and doing more of the same thing.”
Lou Hoger, site manager for the Perry Area Food Shelf, said he’ll have to find space for all the donations, but added that it’s a problem he’ll willingly tackle. “This is the most overwhelming thing that’s happened to us. To have this kind of an enormous donation, this is several months of certain commodities, and they’re all the things that we would normally have on our shelves, which is just tremendous. (It’s) just a tremendous gift.”
Raccoon Valley Radio General Manager John McGee was also on hand for the presentation of the food, and he offered his thanks to each of the businesses throughout the listening area who helped host the food drives. He said there was 78 hours of food drives this year, and each contributed to what he felt was the most successful Caring Christmas in the company’s history.