Missouri State Fair Dreams Big with this year’s Food Drive

The Missouri State Fair will be increasing its efforts to collect canned food this year as it joins in a challenge presented by its industry trade association.  Fair Director Mark Wolfe said today that members of the International Association of Fairs and Festivals have been invited to participate in its campaign, Dream Big, which has set an industry-wide goal of collecting 20 million pounds of food at fairs and festivals held in 2013.

“During the past two fairs, our food drive has brought in 20,000 pounds of food,” Wolfe said. “This year we are raising the bar and asking Missourians to help us to increase our collection numbers, and demonstrate our support to Missourians in need.”

The special gate promotion will be offered again Aug. 13, Missouri Farmers Care Food Drive Tuesday, in cooperation with Ford and Missouri Farmers Care.  Adults and children bringing cans to the Fair this date will receive $1 off gate admission for every can donated, for up to half-off gate admission.  Regular adult gate admission is $8, regular child admission is $2 for ages 6-13, and child admission is free everyday for ages five and younger. 

To help facilitate an upswing in the quantity of food collected this year, Missouri FFA and Missouri Ford dealerships will be involved, and collection days during the State Fair will be extended to include all 11 days. 

“Food collection is already underway at Ford dealerships across Missouri,” Wolfe explained. ““Midwest Ford Dealers and St. Louis Ford Dealers are supporting the drive for the third year, and will be collecting food at their locations now through Aug. 12.”  Dealers will be giving a $1 off discount coupon for each can brought into their facility.  The coupons can be redeemed at the Fair’s admission gates Tuesday, Aug. 13.

Food collected by the local FFA chapters and at the local Ford dealerships will go to food pantries in the respective communities, and the food collected at the Missouri State Fair will be picked up and distributed by the Missouri Food Bank Association (MFBA).

A Canstruction® project will support the food drive again this year, serving as a visual reminder of food products that farmers bring to tables every day.  A massive mural of the FFA emblem will be painted with nearly 6,000 yellow and blue cans of food and on display in the Agriculture Building Aug. 8-18.  Fairgoers will have an opportunity to purchase a can of food at the exhibit during the Fair and place the can in an unfinished element of the emblem; these monetary donations will go to the MFBA.

Canstruction® is a trademarked professional design/build competition and community service project sponsored by the Society for Design Administration. Mid-Missouri’s architects, engineers and students create giant structures built with canned food.  The events showcase the ingenuity of the design community, while benefiting food banks in Missouri.  The Fair’s exhibit is being designed and directed by project engineer Patrick Earney of Trabue, Hansen & Hinshaw, Inc. of Columbia. Bing’s Grocery Stores of Sealia is donating the food for the project.

The 111th Missouri State Fair, themed “Chicks Dig It!,” will be held Aug. 8-18 in Sedalia.  For more information about the food drive or the State Fair, visit www.mostatefair.com, follow the Fair on Facebook and Twitter, or call 1-800-422-FAIR (3247).

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