Empty cupboards and empty tables are not acceptable to Charlie White, mission leader of the Presbyterian Church of Frenchtown. While Hunterdon County is an affluent area, there are still more than 8,000 residents who don’t always have enough to eat.
Charlie decided to take on the problem much like the Kevin Costner film “Field of Dreams.” She and her husband Bob just knew if they could build it, people would come. An idea was formed from this thinking to use softball to help solve food shortages at local pantries.
Charlie proposed a charity softball game between Milford and Frenchtown and with some work the game was on. It started a friendly rivalry began between two teams, now named Milford Mayhem and Frenchtown Frenzy. The cost to attend the game is merely a non-perishable food item.
“I coordinate a contribution every month to our local pantries, and this softball game was dreamt up of a way to get the community involved,” White said. “But more importantly, bring awareness that 8,000 people in Hunterdon County considered food insecure.”
The first game brought out over 300 pounds of food and more than 150 people to the game. The game has grown in popularity every year and if this game is anything like the last one the food haul donation should be nearly a ton.
Charlie is hoping to collect food for distribution to local pantries, but even more so to raise awareness of food insecurity. “The emotional toll of having to seek alternative means for things we take for granted every day cannot be overlooked. The mission of the Milford and Frenchtown Annual Benefit Softball Game is to share an awareness of the critical need in our country that food insecurity is serious business.”
The community is expected to turn out in force to support the cause. Frenchtown Mayor Brad Myhre and Milford Mayor Henri Schepens will come out to support their towns. Charlie jokes that this year’s game is important because it will be the tie-breaker season.
The event is scheduled Sunday, May 6 at 2 p.m. at the Old Frenchtown Field.