Donate Canned Goods and Cash to UA4Food
As more Tucsonans struggle to feed their families in difficult economic times, members of The University of Arizona community can help by donating to UA4Food, the University's giving campaign benefiting the Tucson Community Food Bank.Â
Several UA4Food events, including various food drives and a 5K run, are being held this week as part of the Office of Community Relations' yearlong campaign to help feed the hungry in Tucson.
"This year it's especially important because of the economy. So many people are struggling," said Holly Altman, director of outreach and community partnerships in the Office of Community Relations.Â
While UA4Food has focused its attention on the food bank's hunger and nutrition programs in years past, donations to this year's campaign will support broader food bank initiatives in a time when overall community need is on the rise, Altman said.
The Community Food Bank has seen about a 24 percent increase in demand since a year ago, said Jack Parris, the food bank's public relations manager. Â Â
In December alone, the food bank gave out a record-breaking 22,000 emergency food boxes, designed to feed a family for four to five days, Parris said.
"The economy has really hit a lot of people here very, very hard. We're seeing people here asking for help that we've never seen before," Parris said.
UA4Food was established five years ago to act as an umbrella organization to help unify food drives on campus, Altman said. Many of the campaign's major events take place during the spring, a time when donations to the food bank are typically low.
"People think about feeding the hungry during the holidays but donations drop off dramatically after the start of the first quarter," Parris said. "It's important for us to have a large food drive like this in this time of year."
Last year, UA4Food contributed $30,307 and 17,307 pounds of food to the bank. Every $1 cash donation allows the food bank to purchase $9 worth of food, Parris said.
Here are some ways you can donate:
Stuff the Bus Food Drive â€“ April 2
The Staff Advisory Council and Parking and Transportation Services have teamed up to present the UA's first Stuff the Bus food drive. From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on April 2, a Cat Tran shuttle will be parked in the passenger drop-off zone at North Cherry Avenue and East University Boulevard. Community members are asked to bring nonperishable food items such as peanut butter, cereal, soups and canned meats and vegetables to fill the Cat Tran, which will deliver the donations to the food bank. Cash donations also will be accepted. For more information, contact Joyce Childers at 349-6844.
Spring Fling 2009 Food Drive â€“ April 2-3
Anyone who donates three nonperishable food items to the Spring Fling food drive April 2-3 will receive a $5 discount on a wristband that provides access to unlimited rides, with some restrictions, at the student-run carnival. Wristbands are regularly priced at $20. For more information on carnival hours and attractions, visit the Spring Fling Web site.
Faculty/Staff Food Drive â€“ Through April 3
The annual Faculty/Staff Food Drive runs through April 3. Several drop-off locations for food and cash contributions can be found throughout campus. A list of drop-off locations is available online.
Run for Your Life 5K â€“ April 4
The Student Health Advisory Committee will hold its third annual Run for Your Life 5K on campus April 4. The registration fee for the run is $20. Proceeds will benefit the Tucson Community Food Bank and Heifer International, an organization that works to relieve global hunger and poverty.
The fun run and walk kicks off at 9 a.m. on the west end of the UA Mall. Registration and check-in starts at 8 a.m. There will be food, music and a raffle. UA and Tucson community members are also encouraged to bring nonperishable food donations. More information, including online registration and a course map, is available on the Run for Your Life Web site.
You can make a monetary donation to the Community Food Bank online at any time.