Monday, 28 November 2011 by Thomas Tavaziva
High energies and excitement were the order of the day at the Annual Thanksgiving Food Rally.
More than 60 teams participated in the H-E-B Belton and Belton High School FFA sponsored food rally on Tuesday morning.
The rally, which took place outside the new H-E-B Plus! Belton store attracted approximately 100 Belton High School students, who participated in the rally.
Each team gathered food items that were on a shopping list prepared by the H-E-B managerial staff. The cost was $50 per basket. The shopping lists were distributed just prior to the start of the race and some of the food items on the list were; a bag of sugar, diced tomatoes, bag of potatoes, frozen turkey, Cranberry sauce and baking cocoa.
"This is always an exciting time in Belton," said H-E-B representative Donna Goff. "We've hosted this event for many years and every year, a month or two before the event takes place we receive calls from people asking when we are doing the food rally."
The efforts of the participants were deeply appreciated by organizers of the event, Brad Hobbs and Tammy Gerbert, BHS FFA.
"I'm glad 63 families that were not going to have a Thanksgiving meal are now going to be blessed with a meal," Hobbs said. "It was great to see the impact that our kids are having on our community. Their participation was fantastic."
Gerbert said that the Thanksgiving food rally was different to a regular food rally.
"It's a little more exciting and it's a great way to get the community involved," Gerbert said.
Helping Hands Ministry and Belton Church of Christ were present to accept the food donations.
"It was a wonderful event," said Director of Community Relations Rucker Preston. "We distribute to a lot of families throughout the year and any help we receive from the community goes a long way in helping us achieve our goals."
Preston commended the high school students for their commitment to helping their community.
According to Belton ISD Board President Randy Pittenger, most of the district's schools had representatives at the rally.
The team from Lakewood Elementary School was the first to collect all the items on the shopping list.
The food rally was a fun event that brought the Belton community together.
Jesus Lopez, H-E-B employee and one of the participants has already his sights on next year's rally.
"This was my first time participating," Lopez said. "I really enjoyed it and even though we didn't get to win, it was still a lot of fun and I hope to do it again next year."