EUGENE — Three local high school swim teams: Marist Spartans, North Eugene Highlanders, and the Cottage Grove Lions came together to put on a charity all-relay swim meet for Food for Lane County.

Each swimmer and spectator brought cans of food given over to Food for Lane County to help feed the hungry.

The three participating high schools are the only swim teams in the state to put on a charity event to help feed the homeless.

“At Marist, one of the most important things that make us who we are, is community,” said Marist swim coach Mike Cobarrubias. “Our motto is 'We Are One' and that cannot be overstated. Not only are we feeding the homeless, but we are setting an example of what it means to be in an actual community. No matter status or wealth in society, people should step up to the block and help others. This is what Marist is all about.”

Almost 14 percent of households in Oregon lacked consistent access to adequate amounts of nutritious food in 2011. More than one in three Lane County residents is eligible for emergency food assistance. For the second year in a row, Oregon had the nation’s highest rate for child hunger. In Lane County, 53 percent of children qualify for free/reduced school meals.

“Coming together with two other swim team rivals really shows where the hearts of not only my swim team is, but North Eugene  and Cottage Grove’s as well,” said Cobarrubias. “God willing, this will catch the eye of others around the state who might do the same.”