To increase hunger awareness and food insecurity in the community, LHU’s MountainServe Center for Community Service held its annual Hunger Bowl where students and faculty teamed up to collect 4,334 nonperishable food items.
Different departments on campus helped promote the cause and collected donations with the Social Work Department leading the collection with more then 1,411 items this year. Along with the Recreation Management’s ‘Hunger wRECkers’, the Institute for International Studies held a ‘Bingo-for-Bellies’ game night to collect donations.
LHU’s Athletic Department continued their Reverse Trick-or-Treating event, which is when athletes go out and inform the community that if they put non-perishable cans in the bags provided by them, that they would be left with a goodie bag of candy in return.
Kelly Schlick, a senior studying sports administration and Sierra Pena, a junior also studying sports administration, were the leaders of the Hunger Bowl as well as the community engagement leaders of MountainServe. Pena said, “We were surprised that aside from clubs on campus, we did have a large number of individuals who contributed on their own.”
During last year’s hunger bowl, there were a total of 4,232 non-perishable donations and 25 clubs on campus participated. This year there were only 24 clubs that participated, but received 4,334 donations. The non-perishable items that were collected were donated to the Salvation Army, Blanchard Church, Women’s Center and Island Presbyterian.
Something new that was added to the competition this year was an educational component. Pena said,” Since the fundraiser is a competition, teams were awarded additional points if they educated themselves on hunger, whether that was making a poster, watching a video or writing a summary.”
Pena said, “Students can get involved by volunteering at the food pantries and churches and also get involved in the Hunger Bowl next year.” The hunger bowl is held every year from Oct. 1 to Nov. 2.
Valerie Page, a junior at LHU studying elementary education and special education said, “This year’s hunger bowl was a great experience. It was fun to compete for such a great cause and to support people in need.”
Places to Volunteer in the Community:
*Blanchard Church of Christ Food Pantry located in Blanchard, PA operates a food pantry on the second Wednesday of the month from 9 A.M. to 6:30 P.M. Contact Susan Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
*Central Pennsylvania Food Bank located in Williamsport PA is part of the Feeding Pennsylvania network of food banks and is always looking for more volunteers. Contact Kathy Shaffer at email@example.com or Eric Orndorff, CPFB Regional Director at 570-321-8023.
*Salvation Army located in Lock Haven, PA has opportunities for volunteers to get involved with the set-up, serving and clean-up of meals for those in need of food access. Contact the Salvation Army Social Services Director Tabitha Hayes at Tabitha.Hayes@USE.SalvationArmy.org for more information.