Chuckwagon racers helping the fight against hunger

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  • Jul. 6, 2011 5:00 a.m.
Chuckwagon driver Rick Fraser helps bag groceries at Hamilton’s IGA. Chuckwagon drivers have teamed up with Encana to in a Race against Hunger

Chuckwagon driver Rick Fraser helps bag groceries at Hamilton’s IGA. Chuckwagon drivers have teamed up with Encana to in a Race against Hunger

CHARLES TWEED/Ponoka News

The Sutherland family is used to bagging World Professional Chuckwagon Association (WPCA) titles but June 29 it was groceries that were being bagged at Hamilton’s IGA to Race against Hunger.

The WPCA teamed up with Encana Corporation to help raise awareness and donations of food and funds for local food banks.

“I think the fans appreciate what we’re trying to do and that’s kind of the unique thing about chuckwagon racing is you can go and meet the drivers,” said Mitch Sutherland. “The kids are excited to meet us and get pictures and posters and at the end of the day it is all for a great cause.”

“We are trying to get donations for cities and towns when the need is still there but it isn’t as prevalent in the news as it is a Christmastime. We have our drivers out at the grocery store bagging food and selling bags of food and for every pound of food Encana is donating $2 to the food bank and they are also matching any money donations,” said Meghan McIvor, marketing manager with the WPCA.

The drivers are used to competing on the track and have brought that same competitive fire to the Race Against Hunger and just like the action on the Ponoka Stampede track it’s a Sutherland who is leading the way.

Mark Sutherland has raised more than $1,400 and sits in top spot ahead of Darcy Flad, who is the next closest with about $250 worth of donations.

“Whichever one of them gets the most donations in their name is named the food driver of the year and wins an award,” said McIvor. “It’s also a fun way for the drivers to interact with the fans.”