Community

Health First collects a ton of food for the Food Bank

From left, Kathy Starkenburg, Dr. Robert Clarke and Lynn Berry of Health First Chiropractic in Marysville show off their one-ton haul of food for the Marysville Community Food Bank on Dec. 3. - Kirk Boxleitner
From left, Kathy Starkenburg, Dr. Robert Clarke and Lynn Berry of Health First Chiropractic in Marysville show off their one-ton haul of food for the Marysville Community Food Bank on Dec. 3.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville branch of Health First Chiropractic set a new record for itself during its eighth annual collection drive for the Marysville Community Food Bank this fall, by more than meeting its goal of collecting 2,000 pounds of food during the week leading up to Thanksgiving.

From Nov. 18-27, Dr. Robert Clarke and his staff collected 2,279 pounds of food from their patients, whose generous donations covered two-thirds of the floor in the chiropractic office's front lobby before Marysville Community Food Bank volunteers came to pick it all up on Dec. 3.

"The most we'd ever filled this room before was about half-full," Clarke said on Dec. 3, as the Food Bank's collection truck pulled into Health First's parking lot. "Our patients just like donating to the Food Bank. Both our patients and staff have been hugely enthusiastic about this drive, so we've done what we can to encourage them."

Health First Chiropractic incentivized the giving spirit of its patients by offering them a free day of services in exchange of a shopping bag full of food, but Clarke credited his patients with already having a heart for their fellow community members.

"Times have gotten more challenging in the past 10 years, but our patients have always been passionate about donating," said Clarke, who credited one patient with donating 135 pounds of food by themselves. "By making it more fun to donate, we simply made people want to donate more."

Even his office's record-setting collection goal for this year played into the lighthearted spirit of the collection drive, since Clarke wanted to be able to tell people that "we collected literally a ton of food," much of it in the form of canned vegetables and soup, which the Marysville Community Food Bank had specifically requested.

"My oh my," said Larry Donovan, a volunteer for the Food Bank, when he first saw Health First's floor full of stuffed shopping bags on Dec. 3. "It's very nice to have businesses like you. The whole community has been really good to the Food Bank this year."

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