Manistee Turkey Bowl Helps Fill Local Food Pantries

It may look like just a game of football on the surface, but that’s far from the truth.

Dozens of players and fans battled the cold, wet weather to play, watch, and support their community as part of the Manistee Turkey Bowl Annual Food Drive.

"We are just coming together to raise some food for the local pantries in the community and one of the ways we do that and give entertainment is with our football game," said coordinator Jim Sonsmith.

The Turkey Bowl started back in 2005 when students would come home for the Thanksgiving holiday.

"We would get together and play football and it grew and we decided to turn it into a canned food drive and then we started getting spectators so we had them bring food and it just grew and grew," he said.

Over the years it’s become a tradition in Manistee and it’s making a difference. Last year, raising 1,500 pounds of canned goods for their local food pantries.

"It’s good to see all the guys together and what not and it’s just makes you feel good to see all the cans of food at the end," Jim said.

This year coordinators hoped to either meet or beat last year’s number. Spectators also braved the cold temperatures and wintery mix.

"Tight knit community just coming out watching I know most of the guys playing so it was just something to do tonight before dinner tomorrow," said Colin Bachinski.

All for food, fun, and some football.

"Something fun for people to do home for Thanksgiving with people who live here and it’s just something fun to do," Colin said.