The North Texas Food Bank is on track to set a record for most cans collected during the State Fair of Texas.
Today's the third "It's a Fair Deal" Wednesday, on which three canned food items are redeemable for $2 admission. The food bank's haul last week was a record-breaking 64,292 pounds of food, which translates to about 50,000 meals for hungry families.
NTFB records collections in weight rather than number of cans, since can size varies. But if every contributing fairgoer last Wednesday came armed with three cans of Campbell's Sirloin Burger soup - a hearty, meaty stew of a soup that's on the food bank's permanent wish list - the take would have numbered 95,690 cans.
To set an all-time Fair record, the NTFB needs to collect another 59,488 pounds of food today.
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The charitable program's underwritten by Kroger, and the food bank urges participants to buy new food items there rather than search their pantry shelves for unwanted and aging cans. In addition to rib-sticking soups, the NFTB especially appreciates gifts of peanut butter, tuna fish and beans.
"We love proteins," spokeswoman Paige Phelps says.
Phelps theorizes growing awareness of hunger problems in North Texas, increased marketing by Kroger and family budget-tightening have all contributed to the program's success this year.
"You know, just speculating, it could be people are clamoring to get in and try that fried beer," she e-mails. "Whatever the reason, we really are grateful for the public's help."