Annual Iron Bowl Food Drive benefits Christian Love Pantry
by Elsie Hodnett
It’s time for football fans to come together for a bit of rivalry — all for a good cause.

Pell City First United Methodist Church is sponsoring the second annual Iron Bowl Food Drive benefiting the Christian Love Pantry.

“The Iron Bowl Food Drive is a great opportunity for Tide and Tiger fans to redirect their enthusiasm to a very worthy cause,” said Dr. Eric Hicks, event coordinator for the second annual Iron Bowl Food Drive.

The Christian Love Pantry is a nonprofit organization that provides non-perishable food items to individuals and families in need in St. Clair County.

Although the food drive is a competition between Alabama and Auburn fans, everyone is welcome to participate.

Organizers will accept non-perishable food items in front of the Pell City Walmart on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

The food drive will continue on Sunday morning, Nov. 20, outside Pell City First United Methodist Church from 8 a.m. until noon.

Hicks said last year 2,785 food items were donated and $3,560 in cash contributions. Alabama fans took the prize with 3,304 items donated. Auburn fans donated a respectable 3,041 items.

“We would love to break last year’s record,” Hicks said.

He said each food item donated counts as one point for either Alabama or Auburn.

“We have independent counters to keep score,” he said. “We try to treat it evenly for both teams and keep it as fair as possible. It’s a lot of fun.”

Hicks said each dollar donated also counts as one point.

“We consider cash a non-perishable food item,” he said. “Cash donations help the Christian Love Pantry buy what they need in addition to the donations.”

Hicks said volunteers are needed this year. Anyone interested in participating should call Pell City First United Methodist Church at 205-338-3374 or e-mail

“The Iron Bowl Food Drive has a tailgating atmosphere to it,” he said. “Everyone is hanging out and in good spirits — like you would be at a game.”

Mike Carr, director of the Christian Love Pantry, said the food donations are greatly appreciated.

“We have seen an increase in our numbers the last two weeks,” he said. “It normally happens this time of year. This November may be one of the biggest months we’ve ever had. It’s going to be big.”

Carr said there are a number of staple items on the Christian Love Pantry food list that are given out to all families.

“The people we help receive some of every item on our distribution list, and the quantity varies by the family size,” he said.

The Christian Love Pantry food list includes oatmeal, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, Treet (meat similar to Spam), spaghetti, tuna fish, Tuna Helper, Vienna sausage, grits, juice, applesauce, tuna fish, mixed veggies, tomatoes, pears, green beans, potatoes, jelly, soup, catsup, pork and beans, mayonnaise, beef stew, corn, fruit, spaghetti sauce, rice, flour, corn meal, crackers, ramen noodles and chocolate pudding.

“Thanksgiving items such as candied yams, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy and stuffing are also welcomed too,” he said. “We want to thank everyone for their donations and support.”

Contact Elsie Hodnett at
© 2011