Thursday, November 01, 2012

UIS students collect over 6,500 pounds of food on Halloween

Over 150 students from the University of Illinois Springfield went door-to-door on Halloween collecting over 6,500 pounds of food for the Central Illinois Foodbank.

The drive was all part of the annual Trick or Treat for Canned Goods competition where 14 teams battled to see who could collect the most pounds. The students canvassed assigned Springfield, Chatham, and Rochester neighborhoods collecting non-perishable food items.

“We’ve had a lot of good reception,” said Tina Buck, a senior communication major. “People are very grateful that we’re out here in the community. (We) could be doing something else on Halloween instead we’re giving back.”

William Newton, a freshman political science major from Chicago, realizes the importance of giving back to his new community.

“If you don’t help your own community nobody will help it,” said Newton. “This is a great opportunity to show that though you may be homeless or in need we are here and ready to help you.”

Before Halloween, the teams visited the same neighborhoods distributing door hangers that explained the project. Many residents left bags of food waiting for the teams at their front door on Halloween night.

“This is really great. It helps the Springfield community and the surrounding communities. And it helps everyday people that you see,” said Brittany Carls, a sophomore business management major.

The Central Illinois Foodbank distributes over 8 million pounds of food annually to over 150 food pantries, soup kitchens, residential programs and after-school programs in a 21 county region.

“Right here in central Illinois, 3-4 children by the national definition are food insecure. So, there’s a huge need for what we’re doing today,” said Mark Dochterman, director of the UIS Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center.

The canned food drive is part of the UIS Holiday Stars Project, a campus-wide service initiative giving focus to UIS’ efforts to make a difference in the local community during the holiday season.

Award Winners: 
Most Pounds Award - Lambda Pi Eta (854 Pounds)
Most Pounds Per Team Member - Communications Club (670 Pounds)
Best Costumes & Team Spirit – Christian Student Fellowship

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