As the holiday season approaches, students and faculty can embrace the season of giving and building community by helping those in need through the Recreation Center’s holiday food drive.
November begins the Recreation Center’s third annual food drive, which takes place from Nov. 21 to Dec. 16.
“I initiated it in 2009. We have a large population of users [at the Recreation Center],” said Erica Brown, coordinator for Recreation Center member services and primary organizer of the holiday food drive. “It makes it easier to drop off donations on campus because we get a large amount of people who come by daily. I gather items at the end of the food drive and deliver it to the bank.”
Initially started in 2009 with bins at the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC), the food drive will have bins decorated in red holiday bows set up in front of hosts on campus such as the ARC, the Craft Center, the Equestrian Center, and the Outdoors Adventure Center.
According to a press release, donations for the food drive include all canned non-perishable goods, such as soup, stew and chili, canned fruit, tuna and other canned meat, canned vegetables, peanut butter and 100 percent fruit juice. Any perishable, frozen foods or foods packaged in glass will not be accepted.
All foods will be given to the Yolo County Food Bank, Brown said.
“There are people out there who do not have a lot. [The food drive] helps to provide food during times when people really need it, which is really important,” said Coulson Thomas, assistant director for Campus Recreation. “With the current economy as it is, many people are losing their jobs, and it is important for those who have the ability to give to help those who are in need, especially during the holiday season.”
Last year, the food drive collected 546 pounds of food, which went toward individuals and families through the Yolo County Food Bank, Brown said.
“In the future, we want the food drive to get bigger. We want bins to be located in larger areas and in more places. We hope to continue to get more donations as time goes on,” Thomas said.
As for this year, the goal is to beat last year’s amount of food donated, Brown said.
“The campus as a whole tries to reach out and help those in need. As a department, we have a lot of connections, and a lot of people come into the ARC, as well as other high traffic areas, which provide easy access for donations,” Thomas said.
For more information, contact Erica Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ALICIA KINDRED can be reached at email@example.com.