Every year the small town of Hooppole, Illinois gathers for a fish fry potluck. For 19 years and counting, Mayor Ray Specht and his wife Maureen have opened their back yard to the community. They say it’s a chance for good food and fellowship.
“We love it, we just love to entertain,” Maureen tells. “It’s fun to get everyone together.”
But this year they decided to make things a little different, the annual fish fry has turned in to a food drive.
Last year, their friend suggested that they asked everyone to bring a non-perishable food donation for the local food bank and they agreed.
Ray says, “We just put that on our invite, so we figured we would come up with a little bit of a donation for them.”
They say they understand times are tough and even in their close and tight-knit community, the downs of this economy have hit some hard.
“It hits all over. I think sometimes in the small farming communities it hits a little harder, especially with the crops the way they are. I think it’s going to hit home,” Maureen shares.
The mayor says this is an easy way to spread the wealth.
“We all eat well so we figure we can help everyone else do the same.”
Over the years, the fish fry has hosted anywhere from 90 to 300 people. Ray also told us that people come from all over the state and even country for the community event.
The fish fry is free every year.