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SMC Social Work Club organizes food drive for area families

| Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Saint Mary’s Social Work Club will sponsor a non–perishable food drive from Jan. 29 to Feb. 9 to benefit the Mishawaka Alliance of Care (MAC) Food Pantry. The pantry serves anyone from the Mishawaka area that is in need of food. The club will be collecting non-perishable foods by the front desk of each dorm, as well as on the ground floors of Spes Unica Hall, the Science Hall, Angela Athletic Facility and Madeleva Hall.

Senior Kelly Geelan said in an email that supporting food pantry initiatives embodies the core values of social work.  

“Donating to the food pantry relates to social work because social work focuses on many core values, two of which are service and the dignity and worth of the human person,” she said. “I personally believe that these values align with the Catholic mission of Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame, as well. I believe it is our job as social workers and students in general to aid those that are in need in the community that we live in.”

Sophomore Magdalena Hernandez said the food drive will allow students to provide services to those in need.

“By helping our Michiana community feed the hungry, we are engaging in a social service that allows us to put others first,” she said.

Geelan got involved with social work club because of the club’s core values.

“I think social work in and of itself puts such an emphasis on helping vulnerable populations and that cause is very near and dear to my heart,” she said. “I also love being able to interact with the South Bend/Mishawaka communities. I have met so many amazing people in the community and it has really widened my world view.”

Students should consider donating to the drive because those who are starving are prevalent in society even when they are not visible, Geelan said.

“Even if it is invisible to the naked eye, there are many people that go without food and basic needs every day,” she said. “Food pantries allow these people to have access to food and non-perishable food is able to support the pantry for a while.”

Sophomore Sophia McDevitt added that donating to food pantries is a way of direct way of fulfilling some of the basic duties of social work.

“Donating to a food pantry helps to provide a family with the resources they immediately require,” she said. “As social workers, it is our job to help connect people with resources and the most basic resource is food. The best part about the food drive is it gets everyone involved and helps everyone try their hand at social work.”

Hernandez said the food drive is especially timely as food pantries become low on supply after Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“After the holidays, food pantries around the city are very low on goods and this food drive helps us refill their empty space,” she said.

Geelan agrees and said donations to food pantries typically decline as charitable giving is advertised less after the holidays.

“I do feel that after the holidays donations decline,” she said. “Service and giving are advertised much less after the holiday season even though the need is there year round.”

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About Gina Twardosz

Gina Twardosz is a senior English Writing and Communication Studies double major at Saint Mary's College. She's the co-editor of the Investigative Unit, a Saint Mary's social media liaison, and she occasionally writes for SMC News and Scene. Gina is a tried and true Midwesterner and yes, she does say "ope" often.

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