The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

80° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA pledges $10K to food bank

    Live bands, UA Cheerleaders, Wilbur and Wilma, and a raffle for a basketball signed by the UA men’s basketball team brought people out to East University Boulevard Friday evening to help give back to the community.

    UA4Food kicked off a two-month food drive with the second annual “”World Party”” to benefit the Community Food Bank program “”Snak Pak for Kids,”” said Holly Altman, the outreach coordinator in the UA Community Relations office and the co-chair of UA4Food.

    The program sends backpacks stuffed with nutritious snacks home with lower-income children on the weekends to make sure they’re getting the food they need at home, Altman said.

    “”The cool thing about this program is that the backpack doesn’t look any different from a regular book-bag, so the kids won’t be embarrassed to get the food they need,”” said Jill Rodriguez, the community events manager for the food bank and the co-chair of UA4Food.

    The children have to be eligible for reduced-price school breakfasts and lunches in order to participate, Rodriguez said.

    “”It’s been good energy putting the Community Food Bank and the UA community together,”” Rodriguez said. “”We can accomplish a lot more together than we could separately.””

    Doug Hood, a regional development senior, was enjoying dinner and the sounds of the Mariachi Las Aguilitas de Davis with his parents at the event.

    “”All of the programs working together brings more people out and gets the community involved,”” Hood said.

    Last year was the first year UA4Food included representatives from Greek Life, Spring Fling and the UA faculty, Altman said.

    “”We’re really delighted that so many student groups are participating this year,”” Altman said.

    Stephanie Porter, a pre-business freshman, was one of the students helping promote the event.

    “”When kids have nutrition, it helps them in the classroom. It helps them to be better students,”” said Porter, a board member at the Community Food Bank and the student representative from the food bank.

    Students like Kellen Chase, an optical engineering senior and UA cheerleader, were encouraging people to shop, eat, donate and buy raffle tickets.

    “”I’m here to boost the spirit and raise enthusiasm,”” Chase said. “”We’ll be doing back flips and stunting to grab people’s attention.””

    There is a need for food in the community that many people are unaware of, and the food drive helps educate people about that, said Liza Perez, a promoter for Spring Fling.

    “”Having all these student-run organizations here shows that we care, and that we can make a difference, too,”” said Perez, a pre-pharmacy sophomore.

    Spring Fling will offer $5 discount off wristbands on Thursday and Friday nights to anyone who brings a jar of peanut butter or a box of cereal with them, said Cori Geier, a Spring Fling promoter.

    “”If we could get each person to donate one thing, it would be a huge help. Together we can all make a big difference,”” said Geier, an undeclared junior.

    The UA and the Main Gate Square merchants have each pledged to give $10,000 over the next two months to benefit the program, Rodriguez said.

    The money donated by the merchants will sponsor a “”Snak Pak”” program at Davis Elementary School, while the money from the UA will go toward buying more supplies for the four elementary schools already participating in the program, Rodriguez said.

    The Community Food bank gets its funding from sponsors, corporate donations and individual donations, and it costs about $10,000 to start a “”Snak Pak”” program at an elementary school, Rodriguez said.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search