Football teams are turning over hunger

Submitted photoBatesville High School coach Evan Ulery (left) and Oldenburg Academy coach Eric Feller hope community members participate in the Turnover Hunger campaign.

For the 2018 football season, Batesville High School and Oldenburg Academy football teams joined forces with the Ripley County Community Foundation to turnover hunger in Ripley County. The Turnover Hunger program encourages football fans to pledge a certain dollar amount for every turnover their favorite team forces during the season. At the end of the season, the community foundation collects the pledges and the proceeds are donated to local food pantries. Working together, these two teams collectively raised $3,000 for the 2018 season, according to a RCCF press release.

In February, the two teams came together and donated those proceeds to the Batesville, Sunman and Holton food pantries. The benefited food pantries have tremendous appreciation for the Turnover Hunger program.

“Not only does it get the young football players involved with doing something good for those in need, but our clients will now be assured of receiving plenty of good, nourishing food to take home to their families," stated Anne Baran of the Batesville food pantry. "It’s hard to believe that hunger exists in our community, which most of us think of as quite well to do, but it definitely does impact a significant portion of our citizens.”

Norman Knudson of the Holton food pantry also stated, “I am proud of the young people and their coaches for using something they love to help make a difference in the lives of others.”

There are currently eight food pantries in Ripley County, which provide over 23,000 bags of groceries to local families each year. All of the food pantries serve local citizens who, for a variety of reasons, do not have the income necessary to feed themselves or their families. The food pantries rely entirely upon volunteers and donations to operate. Both teams have the ambition to generate the resources necessary to ensure that no one in Ripley County goes to bed hungry.

Thanks to the generosity of several Turnover Hunger donors, the teams were able to take advantage of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s GIFT VII program and establish the Turnover Hunger Endowment Fund. The assets in this fund will be a perpetual resource for the Ripley County Community Foundation to support all of the local nonprofit organizations serving Ripley County.

“The Turnover Hunger program not only supports the hungry, but it is giving our youth a platform to fulfill their charitable goals,” stated Amy Streator, RCCF executive director. “The board of directors wants the community foundation to give local residents, of all ages and backgrounds, not just the tools, but the confidence needed to act upon the passions tugging at their heartstrings.”

The Turnover Hunger fund, and all of the funds administered by the community foundation, are always accepting donations. Currently, all donations into endowed funds are eligible for a match from the GIFT VII initiative. This matching opportunity is available on a first come, first served basis and is available only while GIFT VII funds remain. Citizens and organizations can take advantage of this opportunity to start new funds or to grow the fund of their choice.

The Ripley County Community Foundation is located at 13 E. George St., Suite B, Batesville. For more information, persons can call 812-933-1098 or visit www.rccfonline.org.