Students will have the opportunity to help the community by donating to food and money to an on-campus food drive this month, making it possible to give a helping hand this holiday season.
Until Nov. 21, food donation bins will be placed mostly around The Orem Institute of Religion for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where students can drop off non-perishable canned or boxed food. Coin jars will be placed in Dining Services, Centre Courte, Library and at dining carts and kiosks around campus. Students can donate spare change and money in these jars, which is the preferred method of donation.
“You can actually get seventeen pounds of food for a dollar,” said Tyler Nielsen, Food Drive Program Director. “Everybody benefits from [money donations] and it’s a lot easier to collect money.”
Nielsen said the Alumni Association has been essential for the food drive this year and is making progress toward reaching its goal of 12,000 pounds of food.
“The [Food Drive] kickoff event … raised over 10,000 pounds, so we’re going to meet the goal despite a number of other setbacks,” Nielsen said.
Students may also be asked to donate a dollar at some of the cash registers on campus. If students choose to donate a dollar, they will receive a donor certificate they can write their name on.
Donations will help both UVU’s Food Pantry and Community Action Services, which works hand in hand with the Food Pantry. The Food Pantry is a service offered through UVU’s Volunteer & Service Learning Center and has resources available to students, staff and faculty in need.
When the Food Pantry is in need of food, it is requested and Community Action Services provides the Food Pantry with it.
“They actually bring food to our pantry,” said Natasha Carlton, AmeriCorps VISTA for the Volunteer & Service Learning Center. “All I do is put in a food order, and they bring the food from the food bank. They have been really good to us.”
Many of the items donated to the Food Pantry is often food that is not edible. Because of this, money donations are preferable.
“Donate things that you would want to eat,” Carlton said.
Students can seek other types of assistance from the Food Pantry, which offers blankets, knit hats and basic hygiene kits in addition to food items.
“Any student can use it,” Carlton said, “even staff and faculty, and not a lot of people actually know that.”
Those at UVU who would like to receive help from the Food Pantry can inquire in Losee Center 205. Requirements include a UVU ID, a completed intake form and a course schedule with at least six credit hours.
The UVU Food Pantry program has been open since 2010. Carlton said that a class at UVU came up with the idea to see if it would work and it took off from there.
“It’s just amazing what students can do,” Carlton said.