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August 23, 2010

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Summer food drive collects nearly 4,000 pounds of food for community

Staff-organized effort easily surpasses one ton goal

A ton of food will stock a lot of pantries and cover a lot of dinner tables. A ton and a half reaches even further.

KU’s second annual summer food drive set out with a goal of collecting 2,000 pounds of food. The campus community responded by giving 3,590 pounds of nonperishable food donations. The food was donated to ECKAN Just Food, an organization that distributes donations among community food pantries in Lawrence.

Caroline Ward, interim Just Food coordinator, said the donations were a welcome boon to summer supplies. Just Food distributes an average of 36 pounds of food per household and it serves 40 to 50 households per day, she said. The donations were enough to serve about 100 families for two to two and a half days.

“It definitely has an impact on our budget and our ability to help people in the community,” Ward said of the food gathered in the drive. “Without those donations it would have been more of a strain on our limited resources.”

The drive also netted about $200 in cash donations to Just Food. Feeding America, an organization dedicated to fighting hunger, values food donations at $1.59 per pound, putting a value of $5,708.10 on the KU donations.

The drive is organized and sponsored by Unclassified Senate and University Support Staff Senate. It is held in the summer because donations typically slow down and demand is higher at that time of year.


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