The Washington Town and Country Fair is trying to collect 100,000 pounds of food for local food pantries this year.
The Fair is a member of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions, which last year extended a challenge for fairs around the world to collect 20 million pounds of food to feed the hungry.
The Washington Fair participated in the challenge and felt that it was a worthwhile cause to continue supporting, said Amanda Griesheimer, Washington Area Chamber of Commerce and Fair marketing director.
“All food and monies collected remain here at our local food banks,” she said.
Last year, the Fair had a number of different collection points and collection dates, and chose a different food pantry to deliver to after each event.
“This year, we are turning it all over to the United Way to disburse as they see fit,” Griesheimer said. “In the meantime, we will be displaying our growing tower of donations in the empty window at Main and Elm. We hope to turn the cans into a creation or two over the summer . . . maybe a roller coaster or something else Fair-related.”
The Fair also is encouraging all of the queen contestants and Fair and Chamber subcommittees to bring nonperishable food items to meetings.
A collection bin is available Monday through Friday at the Chamber office, and donations also will be accepted at all Music at the Market events and the June Sunset on the Riverfront, where the Fair Board will be bartending.
Additionally, collections will be accepted at pre-Fair events, like the run/walk and parade, as well as at the Fair itself.
“Chamber members brought 353 pounds’ worth of food to the Membership Mixer on June 5,” Griesheimer noted.
All tips from Music at the Market events will go toward the food drive efforts. Each dollar collected is the equivalent of 10 pounds of food from the St. Louis Food Bank.
Updates and information will be available on the Fair website and Facebook page.
“We would love to see pictures of individuals or businesses posing with their donations,” Griesheimer said. “Photos can be posted to Facebook or Instagram with #fairfooddrive. We also plan do drawings for concert VIP passes from the photo uploads.