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Diamond Jo makes major donation to Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank sculpture project


This news story was published on April 11, 2012.
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MASON CITY – Diamond Jo Casino has partnered up with the Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank’s “Food Fun and Frank” food replica construction project.

“Providing food for the hungry in North Iowa is certainly a challenge for organizations such as the Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank.  We at Diamond Jo Casino thought this was a very unique way to raise awareness to the challenge they face in keeping their food pantry well stocked,” stated Kim Pang, general manager for Diamond Jo Casino. “To help with the construction and even more importantly to help feed those who visit the Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank, we have purchased one hundred cases of canned goods to help get this food replica built.”

Ozzie Ohl, project coordinator for the Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank, noted “This is a wonderful gesture by Kim Pang and his team at Diamond Jo Casino. This donation combined with the two hundred additional cases of food purchased through the event sponsorship of Reflections Salon bring us almost to the half way point on the total number of cans that are needed. At this time we have 300 cases of the 587 necessary cases. The project is about half way to its construction material goal with 7200 cans.  Blue prints from Mike McLennan of Waggoner & Wineinger Architects revealed that the replica requires 14,088 cans. Canned goods that are still needed include 15 oz cans of fruit cocktail, 15.25 oz cans of pears, 14.5 oz cans of peaches,15 oz cans of mixed vegetables, 15 oz cans of tomato sauce, 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes and 15 oz cans of spaghettios. McLennan’s plans  also show a need for a total of 45 cases (450 single size 8.9 oz boxes of Cheerios) 115 cases of Macaroni & Cheese (7.25 oz size; 2560 individual boxes). A total of 1433 four packs of toilet paper will also be needed to complete the entire food sculpture of the Frank Lloyd Wright sculpture. The actual framework and support system that will allow the food replica to be constructed is being built by volunteers who are all members of the North Iowa Builders Exchange.”

Food Fun & Frank will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 27th-28th-29 at South Bridge Mall in Mason City. Originally, Ohl had thought that the items could all be brought to the mall between the hours of 4-9 p.m on Friday; from 10-5 on Saturday and from noon until 2 p.m on Sunday. “This was my initial plan but because of the huge number of items that need to be collected and the time involved I will try to develop additional times and dates for donations to be dropped off at the mall,” observed Ohl. “Since the project was announced, Southbridge Mall has come forward and has donated the use of the store front directly across from Jitters near the south entrance to the mall to help provide us a convenient place for collections and storage. We appreciate South Bridge Mall’s generous help. Allowing delivery at the actual construction site will make the actual construction go much smoother.”

Groups, churches, school classrooms, organizations, businesses, industries or professional practices that hope to collect or donate large quantities are asked to contact Ohl at ozzieohlonemanthinktank@gmail.com.

Individuals, groups or businesses interested in providing volunteers to help with the handling, construction and dismantling of the food replica are asked to get in touch with Ohl. “I have never built anything like this but we are probably going to need fifty people during the course of the three days,” Ohl said.  “Mike has drawn out a very detailed map showing row by row placements for cans, macaroni and cheese windows and for the ledge beneath the roof  that will be built from Cheerios plus for the toilet paper roof.”

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