Road Maggots unable to find source for food drive

By Sarah Brown

Lebanon Local

After four years of holding a fall food drive for the River Center’s food bank, the Road Maggots were unable to do so this year because they couldn’t find a food source.

“We have exhausted everything trying to make that food drive happen this year,” said Ray Jackman, president of the organization.

“There’s a lot of disappointed guys over it. We’re literally heartbroken because we couldn’t make it happen.”

The Road Maggots always worked with Mega Foods, who held special deals in the store for the food drive and allowed the motorcyclists to park their bikes out front.

Since the store closed in February, the Road Maggots have been unable to find a comparable location to hold their annual holiday food drive.

“We’ve been working on it for three or four months, and just can’t get any cooperation out of anyone,” Jackman said.

They’ve approached other local and corporate stores, but were either turned away or the store’s products didn’t meet the organization’s needs, he said.

The food drive typically took in more than 12,000 pounds of food each year, Jackman said.

“Our biggest thing was to help people get through the holidays, because it’s a tough time of year.”

Determined to do something, the group considered other options.

“If we couldn’t do a food drive in Lebanon, we were gonna try to go to Sweet Home and help them,” Jackman said.

The stores in Sweet Home couldn’t help, either.

On the bright side, the Road Maggots have found new sources for other programs they support.

“We’ve had to make a lot of adjustments.”

The Road Maggots provide food for the backpack program at Riverview School, organized through the River Center. Thriftway has become the new source for those supplies, and the Road Maggots now also donate to Sweet Home’s backpack program.

For Christmas, the Road Maggots do a toy run parade from Walgreens to the River Center, providing loads of toys for the Lebanon Christmas Toy Program. On the night before the parade, they meet with residents at the Veterans Home to feed them and help stuff stockings that are distributed at the toy run.

Mega Foods used to prepare the meals for the veterans, so this year the Road Maggots had to “scramble” to find a new way to make that happen, Jackman said.

Only recently did they get word that the American Legion Post 51 has offered to take on the task.

“We work pretty hard to provide for the community and the kids,” Jackman said. “We didn’t really realize how spoiled we were with Mega Foods.”