‘Extreme’ food drive a success

Published 11:13 pm Friday, February 11, 2011

Food drive: Brian Williams, manager of the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront, shows off some of the food the hotel collected during the “Extreme Food Drive.”

Businesses around Suffolk collected hundreds of food items for the Extreme Food Drive this week.

The food drive coordinated with ABC TV’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” which was filming an episode in Virginia Beach.

“Fighting hunger is something that’s really important,” said Brian Williams, general manager of the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront in downtown Suffolk. The hotel was one of six businesses that collected food, which now will be donated to area food banks.

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Williams, who gave away free nights at the hotel for donors who brought in food, said the hotel’s employees came up with the idea to participate in the drive. They’ve been hoping to do more community service, he said.

“It was the staff that really came up with it,” he said.

On Friday, staff members were talking with area organizations about how they can help with longer-term food programs.

The “Extreme Makeover” show filmed an episode last week with the Hill-Burdette family, who have six adopted daughters and were living in a substandard home in Virginia Beach. The food drive was intended to build excitement for the show and benefit area food banks.

“We are just glad to be a part of this great cause and will work hard to help the Extreme Food Drive meet its goal,” Williams said.

For more information about the Extreme Food Drive, visit www.extremetmc.com.