By MEAGAN COHEE
Dining services across campus are collaborating to donate non-perishable food to local food banks during the month of November, with Helping Hands Across America (HHAA).
HHAA runs from mid-October through the end of November. Sodexo founded the initiative with the goal of collecting and distributing 200 tons of non-perishable food items and beating the Guinness World Record for largest food drive by an organization in a single day. Last year HHAA raised close to 370,000 pounds of food to be donated to food banks.
UMW has increased its goal from 3,600 poounds of food last year to 4,000 pounds this year, according to Kori Dean, general manager of dining services at UMW.
According to Rose Benedict, marketing specialist and manager of Naturally Woodstock, UMW, mostly its athletic teams, have raised close to 1,400 pounds mid-way through November. However, the University still has to weigh in collected food from residence halls, bookstores and other groups on campus.
On Nov. 12, the UMW baseball team collected 808.25 pounds of food, winning the University’s contest to see which team or club could bring in the most food.
All donations, which benefit both the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank and the Fredericksburg Presbyterian Food Pantry could potentially feed “thousands” of homeless individuals in the community, according to Dean.
Dining services is also sponsoring a “Care and Share” dinner on Nov. 28, where students across campus may “donate meals or time to help feed the homeless,” Dean said.
Donation boxes can be found at cashier stations located in all dining facilities, the campus bookstore and at a curbside drop-off outside Seacobeck Hall on Nov. 29 between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m.
To find out more information about the Helping Hands food drive, or to sign up for the “Care and Share” dinner for the homeless, contact Benedict at her UMW email.