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First Responders Food Drive – One of the Funnest Events of the Year

The 8th Annual First Responder food competition is on Sunday, December 3, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The food drive has collected over 100,000 pounds of food over the past seven years.
First Responders Food Drive – One of the Funnest Events of the Year
The food is collected at Out of Egypt for distribution to families in need.

Author: Beth Riley

This year, the 8th Annual First Responder food competition is on Sunday, December 3, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Organized by Beth Riley, the food drive has collected over 100,000 pounds of food over the past seven years.

All the agencies participating, including the Fallon Police Department, Fallon/Churchill Fire Department, Search and Rescue, the Churchill County Sheriff’s Office, Banner Churchill Community Hospital EMS, and the Fallon Shoshone Tribal Police Department, will meet on the morning of December 3 at the Golden Gate Gas Station scales for the vehicle weight weigh-in at 10 a.m. Each agency brings whatever exciting vehicle will catch people’s attention, and when the weigh-in is complete, everyone caravans to Walmart with sirens blaring and lights flashing.

The teams all station themselves at the various doors, and whichever team collects the most food throughout the day, whether perishable or non-perishable, will win. At 4 p.m., everyone caravans to the Golden Gate scales and weighs again. Riley says, “We then subtract the current weight from the original weight, and that is how we determine a winner.” The teams are not allowed to collect food beforehand. “When we are parked in between the front doors at Walmart, people can donate to the agency of their choice. The community member gets to choose,” she said.   

In years past, during the event, the Care Flight crew flew Santa into the event to spend time with local children.

At the end of the day, after the weigh-ins, each agency then travels to the Out of Egypt food pantry building. Backing into the big garage doors, everyone helps unload the food. Pastor Paul Slaton said the food collected allows the food pantry to feed needy community members for up to six months. 

Riley said Walmart donates materials to make the trophies, and the City of Fallon brings heaters to keep everyone warm. The trophy is held by the winning agency for a year.

“So many people are involved, this is such a great thing the community turns into,” she said.

Last year, the baton was passed.

For several years, the Fallon Police Department has won the annual First Responders Holiday Challenge.

In 2022, the Sheriff’s Office won the trophy, coming in at 7,260 pounds of food, with the total amount gathered last year weighing in at 24,040 pounds, all of which was donated to the Out of Egypt food pantry.

The total amount of food donated by the Challenge since 2016 is 122,788 pounds to help those in need during the holidays.

 


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