Bring us your cans, cash

By ├ćndrew Rininsland

Clubs from across the University of Calgary will compete for a good cause this week in the 17th annual Campus Food Bank Holiday Drive, Nov. 16-18.

The Clubs’ Challenge aspect of the drive will have U of C clubs including Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Omicron Pi, Phi Gamma Delta, the Commerce Undergraduate Society, the LDS Mormons, and the EcoClub accumulating points through food and cash donations. Contests for the best banner and food pyramid will also add to point totals.

“We give them materials to set up for the three days of the food drive and then it’s up to them, however they want, to get students involved,” said Campus Food Bank Coordinator Nicole Brandon. “They basically do most of the work.”

The Campus Food Bank hopes to receive 1,500 food items and $8,000 worth of donations, up $3,000 from last year’s target. The emphasis is definitely on the cash, with clubs receiving just one point per food donation and four points per dollar received–money which will be used to buy perishable food items that can’t be donated, such as fresh vegetables and meat, said Brandon.

U of C Students’ Union Vice-President Operations and Finance Joel Lockwood stressed that while the main focus is the Clubs’ Challenge, there are also other elements of the drive happening simultaneously.

“This part of the Campus Food Bank drive is just open to clubs, but it’s a campus-wide thing,” said Lockwood. “Volunteers go around campus before class and advertise for it and [the Residence Services Association] sometimes has their own thing going on.”

The Campus Food Bank is open to all members of the campus community including students, staff, faculty and alumni up to two years after graduation. Last year it gave out 241 hampers of food, supporting 509 individuals, 162 of which were children.

“It’s pretty wide-ranging,” said Lockwood. “It’s open to the whole campus community. A lot of the people who use it are people with dependants–mostly older students. Other than that, the demographic is pretty wide. It’s used by all sorts of people.”

While anything non-perishable can be donated, the Campus Food Bank prefers cereal, canned vegetables, fruits, seafood, meat, beans, non-perishable soy and rice milk, pasta and pasta sauce. Shampoo, dish soap, tampons and pads are also requested.

A similar initiative is the annual Adopt-A-Family program, coordinated by SU Volunteer Services since 1985. Needy student families with children can be sponsored by volunteers who will prepare a care package, ready for distribution in early December. Both sponsors and families can apply at the Volunteer Services office in MacEwan Student Centre until Fri., Nov. 25.

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