The goal was not only reached, but far surpassed: For the 10th annual Helping Hands food drive, The University of Findlay and Sodexo collected 64,392 pounds on Thursday, exceeding the 55,000-pounds collected in 2013 and representing the most collected of any other Sodexo-affiliated university in the country.
This year, the daylong effort on Wednesday, Nov. 4 included public drop-off sites on campus, at Findlay’s eastside Walmart, Kroger on Sixth Street and Great Scot supermarket on Broad Avenue. Marathon Petroleum Corporation employees also contributed a substantial amount. Garner Transportation Group helped with hauling.
During a ceremony to announce the collection amount, David P. Harr, general manager of Sodexo dining services, thanked the many volunteers who participated in the effort, the campus community and food donators throughout the region. “This is absolutely unbelievable,” he said of this year’s poundage total.
All donations will go to Findlay’s CHOPIN Hall, a faith-based nonprofit that is the primary provider of boxed food in the community. The agency provides 4-5 days’ worth of food in addition to diapers, new socks and underwear for children; gently used clothing; linens; kitchen items; other household items; and toys. The organization also hands out new school supplies to hundreds of area children, and free prom dresses to high school students.
“It’s a phenomenal amount of food,” said CHOPIN Hall Director Marty Price. “The University of Findlay food drive is a tremendous help to our agency. Not only does it provide us with much needed food, but it also helps to raise awareness of what we do to help the hungry in our community,” she said. “We appreciate all the support from the University and from the community for this food drive that helps so many people in Hancock County.”
The collection is “our way of giving back to the community,” said Harr. “Each year the goal gets higher and community partnerships grow stronger as we support CHOPIN Hall. It’s amazing to see how much the Findlay community comes out to support one another.”
- More than 133 people volunteered over 335 hours to collect, inspect, sort and deliver donations.
- 20,276 cans of vegetables were donated.
- 3,522 jars of peanut butter were collected.
- 994 pounds were collected for UF’s first Helping Hands event in 2006.
- To date, Sodexo and UF have collected 318,456 pounds since 2006.
- Pounds recorded each year count only towards food, not the weight of containers.
Also contributing to this year’s Helping Hands success were community media WKXA/WFIN, WLIO and The Courier.