The canned food drive, which has been organized by professors in the Department of English, has been cancelled due to theft of the donations.
The food drive, situated in the main lobby of Combs Hall for the last seven years is run by department of English, linguistics and communications senior lecturer, Connie Smith.
According to Teresa Kennedy, chair of the department of English, linguistics and communications, they have collected over 400 pounds of food in years past.
This year, they will not be able to donate as much due to the robberies.
“It’s been an ongoing problem,” Smith said. “I’ve been bringing in food regularly, I came in one Sunday and the construction was demolished…at least half the food was gone.”
Smith said that Tinker Toys were placed among the cans so donators had the option to create a city of food.
No one knows exactly how much food was collected this year before the thefts began, however about half the food was stolen. Smith will deliver whatever is left.
Kennedy was disappointed with the thefts.
“I was angry that the hard work of a colleague of mine has been destroyed,” Kennedy said.
According to Kennedy, this is not the first year a robbery has occurred.
“Sometimes one or two things like a jar of peanut butter would go missing, but never on this scale,” Kennedy said.
Many students were surprised at the thefts.
“I think it was a little ridiculous,” senior Houston Sanders said “It’s going to people more needy than we are.”
Junior Kayla Dickhute echoed his sentiment.
“If you can afford to go here, you can afford to buy food,” Dickhute said.
Freshman Shatara Downs was one of many students who did not know that the display was a food drive, but doesn’t think this justifies the theft.
“[It was] hard to tell that it was for a food drive but if it wasn’t yours, why take it?”
Smith does not plan to press charges if the people responsible for thievery are discovered. The thefts are a violation of the UMW Honor Code.
“I don’t think there’s any way to discover who did it,” Smith said.
Photo by Marie Sicola/Bullet