The River Bend Foodbank Mobile Food Pantry Program received a big boost during last year's John Deere Classic when more than a dozen PGA Tour Wives helped distribute food to some 200 families and donated $2,000 to the cause.

This year, the Wives plan to return to lend more assistance to the Moline-based charity, which has been relieving hunger in the Quad Cities area since 1982. (

"It was definitely one of the best things we did last year," said Shauna Matteson, wife of PGA TOUR player Troy Matteson and organizer of the Wives' effort. "Everyone's feeling after we did it last year was, 'Let's go back and do it again in 2011.' We definitely plan to return."

Caren Laughlin, marketing director for the River Bend Foodbank, said she is excited that the TOUR Wives are coming back.

"We thought that what the Wives did for us last year was a very big deal," Laughlin said. "We appreciated their helping us distribute food to our clients, and their $2,000 contribution enabled us to distribute $20,000 worth of food. We are going to love having them back again this year."

Some 12,000 pounds of food were then distributed to needy families, most of whom were working poor.

Matteson said the 14 Wives who participated last year especially valued the "face-to-face time they had with the recipients." She said she expects more wives to participate this year because last year's experience was so positive.

The Mobile Pantry program was initiated last year to deliver food to bring food assistance to where it is most needed, including hard hit rural areas and small towns that often lack the resources of larger communities. The Foodbank also operates two Mobile Food Pantry distributions every month in the Quad Cities. The John Deere Foundation contributed $90,000 for one of the refrigerated trucks used in the program.

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