UConn Off-Campus Student Services is holding a food drive this week at Carriage House and Celeron Square apartments through this Friday. The apartment that donates the most canned goods in each complex will receive a $50 gift card to Big Y World Class Market.
“We have found incentives work well with students,” Ashley Trotter, program coordinator of UConn Off-Campus Student Services, said. “The entire apartment will win, so if a group combines their donations they can have a big feast before break.”
Donations will benefit the Mansfield Food Pantry.
“We have found that people tend to forget about the Mansfield Food Pantry,” Trotter said. “The Mansfield Food Pantry is often overlooked to those larger collections agencies in the area. Our community needs help too.”
“We encourage others in the area to help our local food pantry as well as the other larger organizations,” Trotter said in a press release.
This is the 4th annual canned food drive organized by UConn Off-Campus Student Services. The drive will be open until Friday but “Thursday would be ideal,” said Evangeline Wong, a seventh semester speech language and hearing sciences major and off-campus student leader.
“The pick-up will be early Friday morning, so if students want to donate they should do it by Thursday night,” Wong said.
Drop off centers are located at the property manager’s offices at Carriage and Celeron.
Donations are not limited to canned goods. UConn Off-Campus Student Services asks that students donate paper products, laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, canned meats, spaghetti sauce, coffee, liquid bath soap, juice boxes, juices and gift cards of any kind.
“This is an easy, simple way to give back to the community we live in,” Trotter said. “It is the perfect time of year to do so too.”
UConn Off-Campus Student Services will host another food drive later this year. The Mansfield Food Pantry is “very low” throughout the year, Kathy Easley, a social worker for the Town of Mansfield Human Services Department, said.
“It would be most beneficial if the pantry could receive donations throughout the year as well as the holiday times,” Easley said. “We find a great need during the summer and right before school resumes for the fall.”
The spring food drive will occur during the last week of May when leases in Carriage and Celeron expire.
“This is an opportunity for students to support the community in which they live,” said John Armstrong, Director of Off-Campus Student Services. “It is the mission of our office to help students understand the importance of being positive community members now and when they enter other communities upon graduation.”
Jon Hull is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.