Holiday Food Drive celebrates 30 years

Holiday Food Drive

Holiday Food Drive

This year’s campaign was extra special. Organizers celebrated 30 years of success in supporting local needy families and food banks.

Bloomsburg University’s annual Holiday Food Drive continued its long-standing campus tradition in recent weeks collecting donations for local food cupboards. This year’s campaign was extra special. Organizers celebrated 30 years of success in supporting local needy families and food banks

"From the start of the food drive until 2015, we were donating to anywhere from 16 to 30 families with small amounts to the area food panties," said Audra Halye, fiscal technician at BU and among the key food drive organizers since 1995. "For a few years we also supported 10 senior citizens thru the Area on Aging and provided toys for the kids, donated by Toys for Tots and various individuals and departments on campus."

Food donations from this year designated for AGAPE, the Bloomsburg, Catawissa and Orangeville food cupboards have included cereal, pasta, spaghetti sauce, macaroni and cheese, boxed meals, rice, peanut butter, jelly, canned and processed fruit, soup and vegetables, pudding, Jell-O, cake, brownie and cookie mixes and frosting.

"We wrap boxes to put in all the buildings, collected family information from employees and organized and prepared labels for family size on box for sorting and drivers to deliver boxes by family," Hayle said. "As toys were donated based on child's age and gender, they were wrapped and labeled for the family and child. Teenagers received a movie theater gift card."

Hayle said food was collected, unboxed and sorted by type of item as in a grocery store.

Items were then divided and boxed based on family size," Hayle said. "Someone went to the grocery store and bought a turkey and in later years that changed to a canned ham for each family. Grocery gift cards were also provided to each family. New signs were put on boxes for the families. Drivers to deliver the boxes to families had to be contacted and pick up times assigned. Someone had to be available for drivers to pick up boxes for delivery. Leftover items were donated to Bloomsburg Food Pantry and AGAPE. All of that took a lot of volunteers, space money and time."

According to Halye, last year the committee decided to donate all food to the area food pantries.

"Several area pantries were struggling to meet the growing need of area families," Halye said. "Two large pallets piled high with boxes of food was collected, as well as monetary donations. One pallet each was provided to AGAPE and the Bloomsburg Food Cupboard. Catawissa and Orangeville food cupboards received a check for $250 each. I received a call from one of the food pantries in November asking if they could count on us this year. They are providing for more families each year and need our help."

Holiday Food Drive 2017

There was enough food donated to fill 17 boxes, five for Catawissa food pantry, six each for Bloomsburg Food Pantry and AGAPE. Orangeville Food Pantry received a check for $200. "Thank you to everyone who donated food, money or their time to make this another successful food drive," Hayle said.