Tournament Scores More Than Touchdowns

hunger bowl thumbnailLYNDON- This past weekend was all about football in the Northeast Kingdom. But some games were about more than just a trophy.
The fifth annual Hunger Bowl took place on Sunday, October 22nd from 8am-7pm on the fields at the Lyndon Town School with a goal of achieving much more than just flags and touchdowns.

The Hunger Bowl is a flag football tournament that raises money and supplies for the NEKCA food shelf. Each player is required to pay a $100 registration fee which goes towards the food shelf, along with donating at least four non-perishable food items.

 With about fourteen teams registered, that's a lot of food being donated for a great cause. "Each person has to bring four cans of food, so there's probably anywhere from 250 to 300 cans of food that we are able to bring today," said third year Hunger Bowl player, Kenneth "KJ" Foster.

The idea was conceived by co-founder of both the New England Flag Football Association and the Hunger Bowl, Vaughn Cloney, around five years ago. After noticing the crowd of people at a flag football event, he conceived the idea of combining flag football with a greater good. "What happened was five years ago, we were playing a double header at Lyndon Institute and we had three or four games going on that day. I just kept looking around and I said 'you know what, if we can get all of these people together for a flag football game, why can't we use it for a good cause?'".

Clooney says that the timing of the tournament was chosen strategically. Organizers chose a day in October for two reasons: 1. The weather still has a chance of being decent for a good turnout and 2. It is leading up to the holiday season and the purpose of the Hunger Bowl according to Cloney is to "ease the hardships in the community during the time going into the holiday season".

At the end of the day, the tournament isn't just about flag football, it's about a sense of community and bringing people together from near and far. "We carried our team on from Lyndon. This was our flag football team on Sundays and once we graduated, we were looking for a reason to come together and enjoy the NEK, so we make the pilgrimage up here to play," says Hunger Bowl Player, Jackson Stewart.

The Hunger Bowl along with NEKCA's Hungerfest raised over $26,000 last year and hopes to raise even more this year.


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