University launches ‘Beat Hunger’ campaign Nov. 10-12
The University of South Carolina will fight hunger one can at a time Nov. 10 – 12 as it rallies the campus and greater Columbia community to help collect cans for Harvest Hope Food Bank and set a Guinness world record.
“Beat Hunger” will feature a series of events, all aimed at fighting hunger, with most of them providing ways to contribute canned goods. This is the first campus-wide drive; previous efforts were done by individual organizations.
“As the current economic downturn lengthens, more and more Midlands individuals and families across the economic spectrum are slipping below the poverty level, and there is an increased demand for food throughout our 20-county service area,” said Denise Holland, chief executive officer of Harvest Hope Food Bank. “We are experiencing a 100-percent increase in demand for food over last year and are counting on the generosity and support of everyone in the community who has the means to pitch in and help their neighbors.”
The public is invited to bring canned food items to the Russell House University Union from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Nov. 10 - 11 and from 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Nov. 12, where they will help stuff a university bus parked on Greene Street.
Also outside of Russell House on Nov. 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will be the Healthy Carolina Farmers Market. Shoppers are encouraged to bring canned items for donation and buy an array of fresh fall produce and breads, honey and soaps, locally produced coffee and boiled peanuts, local cheese and lamb (bring coolers), and order Thanksgiving turkeys from Doko Farms. To further showcase the university’s sustainability efforts, there will be a display and demonstration of the future of alternative-fuel vehicles at the university.
“Our students are increasingly concerned about being good stewards of the community,” said Dr. Dennis Pruitt, vice president for student affairs and vice provost for academic support. “They donate hundreds of thousands of service hours to area organizations; make it a point to shop locally, supporting farmers, artisans and other businesspeople; and champion the university’s efforts in green building and sustainability. The ‘Beat Hunger’ drive will further direct the campus’ focus toward good community and environmental citizenship, and it will be a catalyst for future efforts.”
At 1:30 p.m. Nov. 12, the “stuffed” bus will be weighed to determine whether the bus weighs more than 388,381 pounds, the current Guinness record for largest food drive by a non-charitable organization in a 24-hour period (multiple locations).
In addition to the events above, students, faculty and staff also will have opportunity to donate canned goods through the dining facilities, residence halls and the Greek Village, as well as raise money for Harvest Hope. During the final hours of canned-good collection, Carolina Dining will host a “Beat Hunger/Beat Florida” pep rally for the campus community from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Nov. 12 in front of Russell House University Union.
“The university is responding to the growing need in the Columbia area during tough economic times with a campus-wide appeal for non-perishable food items as part of the ‘Beat Hunger’ food drive,” said Mike Schreffies, resident district manager for Carolina Dining. “To aid in the effort, Carolina Dining is incorporating our Helping Hands Across America, a program created and sponsored by Sodexo, and all the cash proceeds will go directly to Harvest Hope.”
For details on the University of South Carolina’s “Beat Hunger One Can at A Time” campaign, visit the Web site: www.saeu.sc.edu/cec/beathunger.