Staff Blogger: Josh Hilgenberg, Advancement & Communications Intern

It’s the iconic scene in so many movies, and the distant dream in even more high school seniors’ heads – a food fight. Whether it is pie throwing, mashed potato tossing or lettuce launching, it’s all the same.

But, the real food fight is a little more complex than that.

No, this isn’t a blog telling you to throw a Sloopy’s pizza or a Patio donut at the nearest bystander (sorry!); it is about the food fight going on in homes across America – the people fighting hunger. The food fighters and the cuisine combatants are out there fighting the good fight in the very trenches of the battle.

But, where are the trenches? Good question.

Food Fight 4They are in the food pantries scattered across America and our local food pantry in Danbury. They withdraw resources from a food bank and deliver them to homes within their district.

Think of food pantries as the medics of the battlefield. These volunteers bring sustenance to soldiers who are losing their will to fight and help them get back on their feet.

One of the first and largest organizations to pick up arms is Feeding America. Founded by John van Hengel, it provides meals to 46 million people across the U.S. through its vast network of food banks and pantries – almost 4 billion pounds of food. Four billion is quite a lot, but it’s hard to picture without context, so here’s some simple math to put it into perspective.

A quick Google search shows that the average elephant weighs 8,800 pounds – also heavy, but not quite up to the four billion mark. Now, I took 4,000,000,000 and divided it by 8,800 to find the number of elephants in four billion pounds. It turns out to be a little over 450,000 elephants, slightly more than the average zoo has on exhibit.

While this is nothing to scoff at, there’s still a lot to be done. The food fight must not be taken with a grain of salt. Hunger is reoccurring, and it isn’t easy to distribute 450,000 elephants worth of food across the U.S, including Hawaii, Alaska, and even Puerto Rico.

Food Fight 2To help support the local Danbury Food Pantry, Lakeside will do its part by collecting non-perishable food and toiletry items throughout this summer.  Guests and residents can help with this initiative by donating canned goods, toiletry items and non-perishable food to the Hoover Auditorium Lobby.

For more information about Feeding America, visit There are plenty of food pantries and banks right here in Ottawa County and your hometown that need our help, so grab a tater and get tossing!

The proof is in the pudding.

Have you ever volunteered or been involved with a food pantry? How are you contributing to the food fight? Tell us about it in the comments!