VALDOSTA — Eight teams turned out for the Third Annual Stocked Cart Race Saturday, racing up and down the Hobby Lobby parking lot.
Sponsored by the ValdostaLowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority, the shopping cart drag race gathers food donations for Hungry at Home.
“We wanted to come out to help feed the hungry and take care of our community,” said Shania Jones, W.G. Nunn Elementary School student and a member of W.G. Nunn’s race team.
Teachers Teresa Parkerson and Angie Hendley started Hungry at Home in 2011. Hendley was teaching first grade at the time and had one student who complained of stomachaches every week, usually on Monday. When Hendley realized the stomachaches were hunger pangs, she looked for a way to help. Hendley and Parkerson had heard of churches sending backpacks full of supplies to kids in other countries and they hit upon doing a similar thing. They started packing backpacks with food — PopTarts, cans of food with pop tops, things kids could eat with no more prep than a microwave — and sending them home with students Friday afternoons.
In the first year, Hungry at Home served 64 students. Since, the program has expanded to other counties and schools. Currently, the program serves 700 students. With plans to expand into Tift and Worth counties, Hendley wants to see the program serving 3,000 students by the end of the 2015-16 school year.
Since starting Hungry at Home, Hendley and Parkerson have watched the community embrace it, with many organizations donating food and money and/or hosting food drives like the Stocked Cart Race. The Stocked Cart Race this year brought in $1,600 of donated food, the highest yet, according to the VLPRA.
The J.L. Lomax team won the fastest cart award, the W.G. Nunn team won best decorated cart and Lowe’s won most food donated with $400 worth of food. For more information about Hungry at Home, contact Angie Hendley (229) 2516981, Teresa Parkerson (229) 2927231; or visit www.hungryathome.org.
Story by Stuart Taylor, reporter for the Valdosta Daily Times.