The Minot Young Professionals teamed up with the Minot Area Homeless Coalition, Marketplace Foods Dakota Square, and Our Family brand to hold the Second Annual Supermarket Sweep fundraiser March 15 at Marketplace Foods Dakota Square.
"The Young Professionals brainstormed this idea last year to turn over as much nonperishable product as we could," Rhonda Jensen, chair of the Supermarket Sweep committee for Minot Young Professionals, said. "A lot of people in the Young Professionals grew up watching 'Supermarket Sweep' on TV, and they thought it would be fun to participate in one."
The Supermarket Sweep involved 10 two-person teams that participated in two rounds of competition.
In the first round, participants answered questions about product costs, advertising slogans, and Marketplace Foods weekly ad in order to gain shopping time for correctly answered questions. After the question round, the race was on as teams hurried around the store to get the items on their shopping lists. The shopping lists contained products that the Minot Area Homeless Coalition described as the most needed, such as nonperishable food items and toiletries to stock area food pantries and soup kitchens.
"The Homeless Coalition gave us direction on what products were the most needed, and surprisingly, it's the things that people don't think of," Jensen said. "A lot of people that get food from the pantries are working, and they're busy. They need things like pre-prepared meals, snacks for the kids to bring to school, and toiletry items."
The fundraisers' original goal of $300 with a match of $300 from Marketplace Foods and Our Family brand was surpassed during the fundraiser.
In addition to team entry fees, additional money was raised through spectators and competitors purchasing a $10 Whammy to be used against other teams or for a benefit to their own team, such as adding 20 seconds to a team's shopping time, buying a kiddie cart for another team to use during shopping, or the ability to use cell phones or walkie-talkies to communicate while shopping.
"We ended up raising $2,190, and that just blew our original concept out of the water," Jensen said.
Proceeds from the event went toward the food and products to be donated, which totaled around 1,800 pounds. Immediately after the challenge, the products were picked up by area food pantries and placed on the shelves.
Young Professionals Minot, housed within the Minot Chamber of Commerce, is comprised of young professionals, ages 21-39, living or working in the Minot area. The mission of YP Minot is to create social and business networking opportunities and community enhancement projects for young professionals in the Minot area. For more information, visit (www.ypminot.com).