Amsterdam boy’s art drives home a point
Colorful winning design decorates supermarket’s reusable shopping bags
COLONIE Using crayons and markers, Jacob Reed of Amsterdam drew a sporty blue convertible with fiery red, yellow and orange racing stripes. An apple with a serious look on its round, red face is at the wheel, navigating the sports car down a country road. Beside him sits an orange fish, and in the back seat, a bunch of purple grapes and a wedge of Swiss cheese. “Support your local food drive!” Reed printed in bold, black letters beneath red flowers growing along the roadside.
The picture, which took him two days to create, is his lighthearted vision of a food drive.
The drawing won him top honors in Hannaford Supermarkets’ 2011 Design a Reusable Bag Contest for Kids, which was themed “Fighting Hunger.”
Reed won a $100 Hannaford gift card, and now shoppers across the state will tote home their groceries in reusable bags that sport his artwork.
“I thought it would be funny to do this for a food drive to stop hunger,” the brown-haired, blue-eyed 11-year-old explained with a proud smile.
Reed found out about the contest last year, from a poster at the Hannaford store where his family shops, and decided to try his luck.
“I did this design because I know that all the plastic bags all go in landfills and that’s bad for our earth,” he explained.
He was very surprised to get the call saying that he had won.
“Kids have such wonderful things to say when it comes to protecting our planet and looking out for people,” said Molly Tarleton, community relations specialist for Hannaford.
Reed is the youngest winner in the four-year history of the contest, she noted.
“We get thousands of entries, then it’s whittled down to hundreds of finalists, but then to be one of five kids on the bag is a pretty big honor,” she said.
Reed’s “food drive” design takes up one full side of the sturdy, red plastic bag, which is being sold in Hannaford stores throughout the state. On the other side are drawings done by runners-up from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts.
On Sunday, in honor of Earth Day, the Colonie Hannaford hosted a “meet the artist” event, where Reed, sitting behind a table piled high with the colorful bags, added his John Hancock to his artwork and gave out free bags to the first 200 customers who stopped by.
The R.J. McNulty Academy student said he hopes his drawing will make shoppers stop and think: “Just to realize how some people need more food,” he said. He also hopes the bags will help to save the earth by reducing the amount of plastic that winds up in landfills.
Signing autographs in careful cursive with a black Sharpie, Reed seemed happy about his newfound fame.
“It’s just really exciting, and it’s pretty fun to do it,” he said, noting that he’s going to draw another picture for this year’s Design a Reusable Bag Contest, which is now under way.
The theme for the 2012 contest is “Health Hero.” Children in first through eighth grades are challenged to create and draw their own superhero who encourages healthful choices for people and for the planet. Entry forms are available at the customer service desks at all Hannaford locations. Entries will be accepted through May 31.