Laborers help local communities with annual food drive

Laborers Food Drive cropped
GIVING BACK: Laborers Local 110 used the occasion of its annual members’ picnic at Grants Farm to kick-off the Laborers annual canned food drive to benefit Operation Food Search. Taking part were (front row, from left) Local 110 journeyman Brad Freese, Laborers Apprenticeship Coordinator Greg Jones, Operation Food Search Community Relations Director Judy Coyman, (back row, from left) Local 110 journeyman Dave Winkler, apprentices Daniel Tobey, Jacob Hatfield and John Edwards and Local 110 Business Manager Don Willey. – Labor Tribune photos

Laborers Local 110 kicked off the effort with a day at Grant’s Farm



Laborers Local 110 took over Grant’s Farm Oct. 3 to hold a picnic for members and kick-off the Eastern Missouri Laborers annual food drive for Operation Food Search.

Laborers’ locals conduct the food drive each year at this time to help replenish area food banks and pantries.

Judy Coyman, director of community relations for Operation Food Search, said Local 110 and its members donated 3,000 pounds of canned goods valued at $4,977 – or enough to feed 736 hungry people.

“This is one of my favorite food drive events of the year,” Coyman said. “It’s completely to feed hungry families – families raising kids. And the food they brought was all stuff we really need, really good protein-rich food to feed struggling families.”

Serving 250 food pantries, Operation Food Search helps more than 190,000 people each month, nearly half of whom are children, in 26 counties in Missouri and Illinois.


This is the fifth year for the annual drive, which involves Laborers Locals throughout eastern Missouri. Laborers collected 21,000 pounds of food last year.

LExtra Extraaborers Apprenticeship Coordinator Greg Jones first got the union involved in the food drive in 2010.

“I contacted Operation Food Search when they economy was tanking and there was a lot of unemployment and they told us this was what they needed most. We contacted all of the locals and they all wanted to get involved.

“It’s just a way the Laborers can help out and help these communities and give community service work to the apprentices.”

Coyman, from Operation Food Search, is full of praise for the Laborers’ efforts.

“It’s just been an outstanding program,” she said. “And so good for our community.”


After donating food, Laborers and their families were given wrist bands to get into Grant’s Farm, where they had the run of the place and were treated to a picnic lunch courtesy of Local 110.

The weather was cool and cloudy, but everyone seemed to have a good time feeding the goats, watching the elephant show and enjoying the lunch spread while knowing they were helping their communities.

For more information on Operation Food Search, visit



LOCAL 110 MEMBER Terry Schaffer and his daughter Baylee, 14, enjoyed giving the baby goats their milk.
FEEDING THE GOATS was the first stop for Local 110 member Chris Belloli and his sons Kaden, 7, and Logan, 8.


A FINE SPREAD was put out for members in the beer garden.

LOCAL 110 members didn’t let the cold weather prevent them from visiting with friends and having a good time.

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