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First campus-wide food drive a success

Wagner, Katie | Monday, April 11, 2005

Notre Dame students implemented the University’s first ever campus-wide canned food drive Saturday, donating all goods to the Northern Indiana Food Bank. More than 100 students collected approximately 4,000 lbs of food during the food drive, which took place between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday.Saturday’s activities concluded with University President Emeritus Father Theodore Hesburgh blessing the donated food items at the Stepan Center at 4:15 p.m.Co-coordinators Patrick Corrigan and Matthew Hughes said a “lofty” goal of collecting 10 tons of food was set. But “[the output] was hard to predict for the first year,” Corrigan said. “I wish we would have reached our goal, but I was not disappointed with the efforts,” he said. “I was thrilled with the amount of people that came out and the enthusiasm.”Other goals were to generate excitement for next year’s food drive and to improve Notre Dame’s relationship with the South Bend community. “When you have this kind of thing, you’re looking to improve it each time … and go into it knowing you can improve it each time you do it, ” co-coordinator Christine McGlinchy said. “I think this is more than anything a trial run.”Co-coordinator John Corker agreed with McGlinchy and said he was not deterred by not reaching the drive’s initial goal.”This year we’re going for participation and enthusiasm,” Corker said. “We’re trying to work out all the kinks in it and get some excitement about this event.”Hughes said he thought the participation of Notre Dame students could greatly influence the actions of those in South Bend.”This is something we’re really going to push hard to continue providing for ND and the South Bend community,” Hughes said. “We figure that if we get enough of an ND response, then we’re going to get enough of a South Bend response, just because of our presence there.”Five “squads” were responsible for collecting food from a designated South Bend or Mishawaka neighborhood that ranged from 600 to 1,000 houses. Each squad consisted of students from dorms geographically close to each other.On Tuesday and Wednesday, the squads distributed flyers to their respective neighborhoods letting residents know of the Saturday food collection, explaining they were looking for non-perishable food items and informing them they could leave items outside of their doors to be collected.Badin, Keenan, Lewis, Zahm and the CSC donated money for the event’s posters, boxes, neighborhood flyers, CSC van rental and other expenses. Approximately $500 was spent and “there was no fund-raising involved,” McGlinchy said.Corrigan, Hughes, McGlinchy and Corker are all sophomores who have demonstrated dedication to service prior to their involvement with the food drive. Center for Social Concerns (CSC) staff member Rosie McDowell was the faculty overseer of the event. McGlinchy said Corrigan presented the idea of having a campus-wide food drive at one of the monthly social concerns commissioners’ meetings. The success of the Keenan Canned Food Drive this December coupled with Corrigan and Corker’s experiences with working for their high school’s food drives inspired the student leaders to start working with the Center for Social Concerns to plan the campus-wide canned food drive.”It’s been a lot of fun pulling all the different dorms together,” Hughes said. “The squad leaders and individual dorm representatives have been absolutely wonderful in raising the call to participate in the dorms across campus.”