The second annual Bowling to Strike Out Hunger bowling tournament at Brunswick Zone XL in El Centro benefitted the Imperial Valley Food Bank.
A dozen teams from organizations or businesses such as Havens and Sons Trucking, Rabobank and El Centro Rotary Club competed and excitedly cheered on their teammates once games got under way. At stake were bragging rights and trophies.
The team with the most donations received a trophy that is passed on to the winners each year while another trophy was awarded for the team with the highest score.
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Medals were given for best male and female players as well as for the team with the best bowling shirts.
Imperial Valley Food Bank board president David Takata said the event allows people to help those suffering from food insecurity while also having a good time.
First Imperial Credit Union Marketing Director Jennifer Paez said some of her teammates had been practicing in the previous weeks.
“We’re going to keep it fun, but there’s still competition,” she said while laughing.
The team had raised $650 for the Imperial Valley Food Bank last year during the inaugural event and couldn’t wait to participate again this year, she explained.
While the atmosphere was light Sunday, it was all for a serious issue.
The Imperial Valley’s food insecurity rate is 31.4 percent, Food Bank executive director Sara Griffen said.
“A third of people aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from,” she said.
Imperial County has the worst food insecurity on the West Coast, nearly double the state rate, and is eighth in the nation, she explained. Half of those affected are children.
The Imperial Valley Food Bank feeds an average of 20,000 people a month and can provide 9.14 pounds of food for every $1 donated.
On May 12, Valley residents who missed the bowling tournament can still contribute to the food bank by placing canned goods by their mailboxes for postal workers who will be picking them up as donations.
Call the Imperial Valley Food Bank at 760-370-0966 for more information.
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or email@example.com.