By Pulse Staff
The 16th annual Helping Hands food drive at the university made a staggering leap of 48,864 pounds of food donated over last year, setting a record of 214,559 pounds.
This brings the total amount of food collected through this 16-year effort to 1,097,963 pounds.
David P. Harr, the director of dining services at the University of Findlay, says the large numbers show just how caring people can be.
“It is amazing how much the record was broken by,” Harr said in an email interview. “It truly shows the kindness and willingness to help others in need.”
“Every year the total pounds of food collected and donate increases, so it is almost expected that amount collected will increase from the year before,” Harr said.
According to Harr, many factors helped increase the amount of donations. This year organizers merged together what they did in 2020, which was all online due to COVID, and with what they did before the pandemic, which was physically collect food.
Harr says adding additional collection locations such as Kroger on 6th Street and Brinkman’s, and having three schools join in the collection helped hit their goal.
“We had businesses join the collection process,” Harr said. “Home Depot, Hearthside, Power-up and several churches. Having past sponsors continue their support kept the base strong.”
Those sponsors included Walmart, Campbells, Sodexo, University of Findlay, and Garner Trucking.
Organizers also added two new events on campus. Paint and Partake an event on
Friday, Oct. 29 for faculty and staff. A $10 donation and 5 pounds of canned food from the top five most-needed items was the price of admission for those participating. They were able to create a painting with Awakening Minds Art painter and UF alumna Megan Hall.
The winners of the CAN-struction contest received prizes including a bowling party, an ice cream party, and an ax-throwing party. Student organizations constructed canned-food sculptures to represent their organizations.
American Society of Safety Professionals – University of Findlay Chapter won Most Creative, Student Occupational Therapy Association won the People’s Choice award, and the Pre-Vet Club won Highest Poundage with 973.8 pounds. Unit Marketing Coordinator Riley McKinniss says Sodexo matched that total with peanut butter, the most requested item.
All donations go to CHOPIN Hall which helps distribute food all throughout Hancock County.
Harr said while he did want to break the 1 million-pound mark over the entirety of the event and is pleased they did so, he has one consistent goal each year.
“Every pound of food helps,” Harr said. “So, one more pound than we did before.”