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EDWARDSVILLE - Heroic Adventures in Edwardsville will host a weeklong program to raise money for Brown Bag Buddies, an organization that provides sack lunches for Edwardsville students throughout the summertime.

From May 26 to June 1, 2024, you can round up your purchases at Heroic Adventures and donate money to Brown Bag Buddies. The comic book store will also host several gaming events throughout the week, and players have the opportunity to donate their entry fees, purchase game advantages and more, with all the money going to Brown Bag Buddies.

“Nobody wants hungry kids,” said Lynette, the director of Brown Bag Buddies. “Our budget is always the biggest obstacle. We’ve tried to reach out to the community. I’m shocked that there are so many people that aren’t aware this is a problem to such a degree. Last year, we ended up handing out 7,206 lunches.”

This is a 44% increase from the previous year. Brown Bag Buddies provides a week’s worth of lunches every Monday to families that live within the Edwardsville Community Unit School District #7. They work under the Glen-Ed Pantry, and they sometimes see over 700 families a week who need extra food for their kids.

Lynette explained that as food prices rise, so does the need. They are hoping to raise $28,000 to support the Brown Bag Buddies program this summer.

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Tony, the owner of Heroic Adventures in Edwardsville, decided to connect with Brown Bag Buddies because he wanted to sponsor a fundraiser for a local organization. Lynette’s son works in Tony’s store and suggested the Brown Bag Buddies program could be their initiative. Tony is excited to raise money for the group and show the store’s support for the community.

“We definitely want to make it a regular thing,” he said. “We do want to get involved in the community and we want to support the people that keep us in business and give back however we can.”

In addition to the round-up program, customers can participate in the weekly gaming events held at the store. There are incentives to donate money and receive advantages in the games.

“Donate a dollar and you get an extra dice roll. Donate a dollar and get an extra card. Donate $28,000 and you can take over the store for the day. But 100% of the donations will go to Brown Bag Buddies,” Tony said. “We’re doing this for the community. We’re benefiting by supporting the community and showing people that we’re not just there to make money and put it in our pockets. We want to help the community.”

On Sunday, May 26, players can participate in a Pokemon chaos draft and Digimon tournament. On Thursday, May 30, the One Piece community will sponsor a gaming event at the store. On Friday, May 31, players can enjoy Magic: The Gathering followed by Yu-Gi-Oh! on Saturday, June 1. For more information about each game and how to participate, you can visit the official Heroic Adventures Facebook page.

Tony and Lynette hope to see a lot of participation throughout the week. Brown Bag Buddies runs through donations, and as the summer kicks off, they are seeing a greater need than ever before. Lynette encourages people to visit the Brown Bag Buddies Instagram page for more information. You can donate to Brown Bag Buddies at the official Glen-Ed Pantry website.

“Lots of parents say, ‘I would not have made it this summer without you,’” Lynette added. “I’m a big believer that it takes a village. That’s how I raised my kids, and I believe it 100%. So I believe the village needs to get involved, and we’ve had a real good response and educated a lot of people.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing food insecurity, here are resources in the Riverbend area.

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