What better way to feed the hungry than by using the allure of television to draw a big crowd?
That's exactly what West Dundee leaders are doing. The Food Network's "Food Court Wars" spent part of the week filming an upcoming episode of its second season at Spring Hill Mall and will shoot another segment from 1:45 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Public Safety Center 2, 100 Carrington Drive. The show's contestants will hand out food samples to the public as they compete to open their own restaurant inside Spring Hill Mall's food court, an official said.
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West Dundee officials are also asking the public to bring nonperishable items, which staff members and students from the Boys and Girls Club of Dundee Township will collect and donate to the hungry and to the FISH Food Pantry in Carpentersville.
"We're really excited about this. It's a pretty unique opportunity for our club to be acknowledged on national television," said Curt McReynolds, president and chief executive officer of the Boys and Girls Club of Dundee Township. "I think it's an honor."
Village President Chris Nelson, one of the club's board members, also invited the Dundee Scottish Pipe Band to perform during the event -- the village is a sister city of Dundee, Scotland, and the band is based in West Dundee at St. James Episcopal Church.
Sue Berna, the band's manager, said it was a no-brainer to book the band for this particular gig. "It's a community event; it's to support the contest, which is part of Spring Hill Mall, and who doesn't like to get together and have a fun afternoon?," she said. "Isn't that really kind of what happens here in town? Everybody wants to share the history and motivate other communities to do the same thing."
Producers approached Nelson to see how they can help West Dundee while they're in town filming. The idea of a community food drive was born, he said, adding he can't wait to see how the village looks on television.
"West Dundee's a beautiful town, and I think they'll present it well," Nelson said. "The only downside is there's a Bears game on (during the event), so I think it may negate some of the crowds that we get."
If you plan on attending the shoot, do not wear clothes with visible logos. The event will not impact the fire department's normal operations, Fire Chief Randy Friese said.