Every day millions of Americans suffer from hunger, and that number continues to rise from the recession we are still stuck in. Families that never had to worry about putting food on the table now struggle to choose between food and rent, and this can be found anywhere, including in Winter Park. We cannot afford not to help ease the burden of these citizens, especially when Rollins makes it so simple to create a difference.
Starting on October 18th, Rollins kicked off its annual effort to stop hunger in the Helping Hands Across America campaign, known as Cans Across America until 2009. For years now Rollins has been collecting canned goods at the C-Store for this eff ort, but two years ago Sodexo partnered with the Greek Advisory Council to take the canned goods collected at the Can-Struction event and include them in the Helping Hands Across America campaign. Sodexo serves as Rollins’ dining services and has worked with Rollins for over 30 years. It’s a multi-national company that is a leader in helping fight hunger throughout the world. The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce also is helping out this year.
“The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce has joined us this year to spread the word about hunger. This partnership allows us to reach and educate more people in Winter Park. The Chamber has offered to host a Chambers Aft er Hours event in which all proceeds will be donated to Second Harvest,” says Gerald Short, head of dining services. All donations collected will purchase food to donate to the local Second Harvest Food Bank. Second Harvest then distributes the food to local organizations and people in need. In 2009 a goal was set to collect 10,000 pounds and we exceeded that goal by 2,293 pounds, ranking Rollins 4th among the many Sodexo USA colleges and universities involved in the campaign. This year, Rollins set a goal of collecting 20,000 pounds. If everyone at Rollins participated, we could easily reach this number.
Short said, “I can afford a $100 donation and I’m happy to donate it to Second Harvest because it will feed 400 children! If every faculty and staff member donated $10 it would raise enough money to feed 28,000 people in our community.”
There is no excuse to not get involved with this cause since Rollins makes it so easy to contribute. There are collection bins distributed throughout campus, and at the registers of dining areas on campus, you can easily make a donation through your Tar Buc$ or meal plan. “I was asked by the dining staff if I would like to make a donation,” says Sarah Garnett ’14. “I could make a donation of $5, $10, $20, or $100 right off of my meal plan, it was so easy!” The food drive ends November 12th, so if you have any extra cash, Tar Buc$ or meal plan, please help out with one of Rollins’ longest running causes.
“We like to think of it not so much as an event, but a way of educating the community on hunger problems we face in our own community and throughout the world,” said Short. “Rollins students, faculty and staff have been instrumental in helping us reach our goals in years past. We have an aggressive target this year and we’re confident the Rollins Community will open their hearts and pocket books and help those less fortunate. Together, we can do it!”