Mamta Lulla

Cougars have taken on a new challenge of feeding those in need with the Compete to Contribute contest running currently in the Tri- Region.

The Spruce Grove and District Minor Football Association (SGDMFA) players started with about 5,000 white paper bags with their logo and a brief explanation of their new campaign to feed those in need by donating to the local food bank.

The volunteers and players, with the help of a mentor for the Compete to Contribute challenge, distributed the bags all over the City of Spruce Grove. On August 13, the players went around again to pick up the bags that were left outside local residents’ homes.

“We ask the people to fill the bag with a food item and place it on their door stop for Sunday 13 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and we will pick it up,” said president Rob Page.

Compete to Contribute is a local challenge underway in the Tri-Region for the second year in a row, and asks non-profit organizations to conducts acts of good in the community with the help of youth. The mission is to inspire and empower youth to engage in creating a healthier community.

Last year, SGDMFA came in second place with the Compete to Contribute challenge, with players lending a hand during spring- cleaning and community clean up.

This year, they are hoping for the first place.

Winners of the challenge get prize money with this year’s top prize ranging about $15,000. The money is collected thanks to the generosity of the community and local business sponsorship.

But it isn’t all about the prize money for the association.

“More than competition, I feel we are teaching these young kids something about giving back to the community and helping out,” explained Page.

This year, the organization has decided to help the local food bank because they see a need.

“We decided to try to assist Parkland Food Bank, it’s very well used unfortunately and they always have empty shelves and looking for more support,” said Page.

He explained the food bank is used all-year round and usually receives support from the community during Christmas time.

“Anything we can do to give back and times are tough, food bank is a really good initiative, everybody seems to be donating to them at Christmas time but it’s used year around,” he added.

Players of all ages from Bantam, Atom, Novice and Peewee are part of the challenge, totaling to about 120 players driving the initiative for the food bank.

Some of the Novice players were also seen outside three supermarkets recently trying to drum up support from the local shoppers.