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The Daily Wildcat

 

    Drive seeks $10K for food

    Mallory Loring / Arizona Daily Wildcat

This is Stephanie Porter, Youth Board Member of the Community Food Bank (business freshman), putting donated food on the trolly
    Mallory Loring
    Mallory Loring / Arizona Daily Wildcat This is Stephanie Porter, Youth Board Member of the Community Food Bank (business freshman), putting donated food on the trolly

    The UA4Food drive is on track for meeting its goal of raising $10,000 for the Community Food Bank’s “”Snak Pak”” program, despite some donation stations having low traffic, officials said.

    Although official numbers haven’t been tallied yet, UA4Food is confident it will either meet or exceed the $10,000 goal, said Holly Altman, the outreach coordinator in the UA Community Relations office and the co-chair of UA4Food.

    Food donations are also being accepted on sites throughout campus. The donated food and the money will be given to the Community Food Bank’s “”Snak Pak”” program, which sends backpacks filled with nutritious snacks home with lower-income children on the weekends.

    To receive the backpacks filled with food, children have to be eligible for reduced-price school breakfasts and lunches at their school.

    “”This ensures they’re getting the food they need at home, since it’s hard to know what they eat on the weekends,”” Altman said.

    The drive began on Feb. 25 and will end with a celebration on April 28. The total amount of donations received will not be revealed until then, Altman said.

    This year, different groups have been or will be targeted throughout the drive. Last Friday marked the end of the Faculty/Staff Drive, which put more focus on receiving donations from UA faculty and staff.

    Catherine Correia, marketing director of the UofA Bookstores, said so far the food donations at the bookstore’s drop-off site have been lighter than during past donation drives.

    “”It’s been a little slow, I think it’s just the time of year,”” she said. “”I don’t think it’s a lack of interest.””

    Correia said more people tend to give around the holidays since food is on their minds.

    But, Altman said, other sites around campus have been doing better and have received a lot of food.

    Altman said the UA campus has always been generous.

    “”We’ve had a positive response,”” she said. “”The (‘Snak Pak’) program focuses on children and success at school, and that’s one of UA’s focuses too.””

    Events will be held during Spring Fling and Greek Week to help sponsor the drive.

    This is the second year UA4Food has included representatives from Greek Life, Spring Fling and the UA faculty, Altman said.

    Spring Fling, held Friday through Sunday, will offer $5 discounts off wristbands on Thursday and Friday nights to anyone who brings a jar of peanut butter or a box of cereal in with them, said Holly Schindler, public relations director for Spring Fling.

    Schindler said the she expects a big response from students. She said involving students in the food drive helps them feel more connected with the Tucson community.

    “”As students, sometimes we come to Tucson and just focus on our studies,”” she said. “”It’s good for students to reach out and become involved in the community.””

    There will also be a Greek Week food drive from April 22 through April 27, with events yet to be announced.

    Altman said there is a need for food in the community of which many people are unaware. She said as many as 70,000 children in Pima County live in severe poverty and aren’t receiving proper nutrition.

    Having different campus groups involved helps on every level. It generates more food and resources, but also raises awareness, Altman said.

    “”The UA community is coming together to work on the problem of community hunger,”” Altman said.

    Currently four schools are involved in the “”Snak Pak”” program and the Community Food Bank is hoping to expand to a fifth school with the money raised.

    “”Snak Pak”” food includes cereal, peanut butter, canned fruit, soup, snack-size crackers and granola bars.

    To sponsor a child by giving a monetary contribution online, visit www.ua4food.arizona.edu.

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