Hoops for Hunger gets bigger every year

In 2009, Rob Hendricks, an eighth-grader at Rocky River Middle School, wanted to find a way to get fellow classmates – and neighboring rival Bay Village – to help the less fortunate in their community. It was from this that Hoops for Hunger was born.

This student-led mission comes together every winter for three weeks to donate food and funds that benefits the Cleveland Foodbank’s Harvest for Hunger campaign.

The culmination of the three-week project is a boys basketball game between Bay Village and Rocky River high schools. In order to get some real exposure, Rob presented his idea to SportsTime Ohio who loved the idea and televises the game annually.

Their first year they raised 8,000 units (a unit being one can of food or $1 donation). Year Two brought in 25,000 units and last year they reached 45,000 units. The total from those first three years translates into nearly 300,000 meals and this year they’ve gathered more than 50,000 units.

Sponsors of the Hoops for Hunger campaign include Giant Eagle, PNC Bank, Rae-Ann Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, SportsTime Ohio, and Bay Village YPF, along with dozens of other local businesses donating thousands of dollars and silent auction/Chinese raffle items to fund the Cleveland Foodbank.

This year's basketball game was an even battle in the first half but Rocky River pulled away from host Bay Village in the second half for a 66-45 victory.

Steve Novak

Steve Novak lives in Westlake.

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Volume 3, Issue 25, Posted 2:54 PM, 12.13.2011