South Helena emerges victorious in Helena Hunger Games

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer

HELENA – Residents of Helena were able to capitalize on some of the North versus South Helena conversations that were happening online, and use it as an opportunity to collect food and other items to support charities over the month of March.

The drive was started by Helena residents Ashley Perry and Christi Wilson, who saw the discussions and realized they could direct that energy towards helping feed families in need.

The pair realized that food insecurity had been a big issue throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, where many people had lost or reduced income and needed some kind of help.

“This last year was really hard on everyone and we wanted to help our local charities who have helped to serve our community,” Perry said.
With this in mind they created the “Helena Hunger Games,” which asked residents from the two different sections of the city to compete against each other by donating food and other necessary items in boxes labeled “North” or “South,” with the winner being the section who donates the most.

After a month of donations, the South ended up victorious having donated the most items.

“It was close,” Perry said. “But the South won the Helena Hunger Games this year. I really appreciate everyone who participated. I’m proud of what we were able to do in the short time we had to organize this year.”

They ended up collecting a number of items including canned goods, condiments, cleaning supplies, toothbrushes and toothpaste, paper towels and toilet paper.

The donations became even more important, because the tornadoes that struck the area in the last part of the month led to an increased need for supplies for many families in the area.

According to Perry, the donations will go to benefit local charities like Oak Mountain Ministries, Manna Ministries, and Shelby Emergency Assistance. All of these organizations connect families in need with food and resources through pantries, food banks and other forms of emergency assistance.

“The donations to Manna have been delivered, and we will be delivering the donations to Oak Mountain Ministries this afternoon and Shelby Emergency Assistance on Friday,” Perry explained.

There was intended to be a celebration event that honored the winner of the contest, however this was put off due to the storms.

The pair said that they were grateful for the participation of everyone in the community, and plan to do another event in 2022.

“We were glad to have donations for the people in this time, especially after the tornadoes,” Perry said. “I am looking forward to next year.”