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URBANA — Champaign and Urbana’s firefighters won’t be fighting fire but each other Tuesday morning to repackage the most meals for the Eastern Illinois Foodbank.

It’s the first annual “Jump into Action” event being hosted by the food bank, and it will feature four different matchups — two Monday evening and the following morning on Giving Tuesday.

“They’ll take elbow macaroni in bulk and put that into smaller bags, and place those into boxes,” said Amanda Borden, the food bank’s development relations manager. “They’re repackaging the bulk food into smaller portions so it can be distributed.”

Those meals will then be distributed to partner agencies, such as food pantries, in the 18-county area the food bank serves.

The Jump into Action event will feature four matchups:


— 7 p.m.: Champaign County Sheriff’s Office vs. Urbana Fire Department

— 8 p.m.: METCAD 911 vs. Urbana Fire Department


— 7 a.m.: Champaign Fire Department vs. Urbana Fire Department

— 8 a.m.: Champaign Police Department vs. Urbana Police Department

Each group will be leading a team of volunteers during their shift, and Borden said volunteers can still sign up at

“We do have some spots available,” Borden said. “We mostly had a lot of slots open on that 7 to 8 a.m. Tuesday morning, but there are a few slots open in the other ones as well.”

The agencies can also add to their meal total with monetary donations from the public, which can also be made at the organization’s website.

The winning prize?

“I think it’s just going to be bragging rights,” Borden said.

And the goal?

50,000 meals prepackaged.

Borden thinks the first responders will be able to reach that.

“They’re very excited,” she said. “They have been tremendous in the support that they’ve offered and are ready to go.”