Police-firefighters soccer game raises funds for Taylor food pantry

An indoor soccer game between Taylor police officers and firefighters will raise money for the new Fish & Loaves food pantry in the city.

The soccer game is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 29, at the Taylor Sportsplex, 13333 Telegraph Road. The game will take place in the National City Arena.

Tickets are $5, with all proceeds going to Fish & Loaves, which has provided Christmas dinners to needy Taylor residents the last two years, served 600 students in a back-to-school event and plans to open a permanent food pantry for Downriver residents in Taylor.

Representatives of the Detroit Ignition professional soccer team will be on hand for the soccer game. Game organizer Bryan Cragg of Taylor said there will be giveaways from the team, which plays in the Major Indoor Soccer League. He said that if players are on hand, they will meet fans and sign autographs.

Proceeds from the game will help stock the shelves of the new Fish & Loaves food pantry, which will adjoin Gleaners Community Food Bank’s warehouse on Northline, just east of Beech Daly, across the street from the Taylor Animal Shelter.

Fish & Loaves is a partnership of churches, civic groups, the private sector and men and women committed to ensuring that no one goes hungry or without adequate nutrition in the city and region.

The service area includes six local communities not served by community-wide food pantry programs: Taylor, Allen Park, Brownstown Township, Dearborn Heights, Romulus and Southgate.

Families and individuals who enroll with Fish & Loaves will be able to “shop” at the pantry six times a year on an advanced appointment basis at no cost to recipients. They will be required to show proof of residency for all household members and must meet federal and state poverty income limits or provide ample evidence of need.

The pantry will supplement assistance already provided by local churches on an emergency basis. Churches will be able to make referrals of people to Fish & Loaves.

Taylor police officers and firefighters play an annual hockey game at the Sportsplex and have competed in other sports, but this will be their first soccer game.

Cragg, a veteran soccer coach and member of the Taylor Sports and Recreation Hall of Fame, said participants are hoping for a huge turnout to support the public safety officials.

“These guys do so much for our community on a daily basis,” said Cragg, who is on the board of Fish & Loaves. “They’re giving up their time on a weekend to put on a show for a great cause.”

To make a tax-deductible donation to Fish & Loaves, write a check payable to “St. Paul United Church of Christ” and send it to P.O. Box 190, 24158 Goddard Road, Taylor, MI 48180. In-kind donations of collected food also are accepted.

For tickets to the game, call Bryan Cragg at (313) 295-4950. For more information about Fish & Loaves, call (313) 291-1221.