Cans and Cash Welcomed During UA4Food
Food collection boxes are appearing across campus as part of UA4Food, the University's annual food drive, which is marking its 15th year.
The drive, which began Monday and runs until April 4, benefits the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona and the UA Campus Pantry, said Karla Bernal Morales, senior program coordinator with UA Government and Community Relations, which helps organize UA4Food.
The placement of collection boxes is different for each unit, Morales said, but most can be found in high-traffic areas. The most-needed food items include:
- Peanut butter
- Boxed cereal
- Granola bars
- Any canned tomato products
- Canned meat, soups, vegetables and fruit
- Rice and pasta
- Bags of beans
Some locations will have jars to collect cash donations as well. Every dollar can be turned into four meals, according to the Community Food Bank. Those who would rather donate money online can do so at the Community Food Bank website.
Since the campaign began in 2004, more than 214,000 pounds of food and $365,000 in monetary donations have been collected.
"We're investing in our community by helping out families in need," Morales said.
Because this year's drive also benefits the Campus Pantry, which aims to eliminate food insecurity at the UA, the drive directly benefits the University community as well, Morales said.
The drive will culminate on April 4 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the UA Mall near North Cherry Avenue and East University Boulevard with Stuff the Cat Tran, when members of the campus community are invited to bring enough donations to fill a Cat Tran shuttle. Stuff the Cat Tran is organized by the Classified Staff Council, Parking & Transportation Services and Government and Community Relations.
The drive is organized and run by volunteers, known as UA4Food ambassadors, from across campus. Ambassadors attend information sessions led by Government and Community Relations and the Community Food Bank and then relay that information across campus. They also help coordinate the placement of collection boxes.
Anyone interested in volunteering as an ambassador can reach Morales at firstname.lastname@example.org or 520-621-5522.
Opportunities for giving won't end after that, Morales said. Government and Community Relations is revamping the UA Cares website with year-round information on organizations and events in need of donations and/or volunteers.