RICHMOND, Va. (April 9, 2009) - Virginia Commonwealth University is holding a three-day, university-wide food drive to support the Central Virginia Food Bank and its affiliated Meals on Wheels and Community Kitchen programs.
The food drive takes place April 14, 15 and 16 at multiple locations on both the Monroe Park and MCV campuses. VCU mascot Rodney Ram will greet food donors at the drop off location at West Broad and Harrison Streets on April 14 between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.
While various campus units and organizations regularly conduct individual food drives, Business Services Director Diane Reynolds organized the unified drive after hearing about shortages at the Central Virginia Food Bank.
"This is a critical time for food banks, especially now with the economy so bad and unemployment so high," Reynolds said. "And I began to think about the impact all of our students and our faculty and staff could make. Our goal is to be the largest single contributor to the food bank this year."
Unemployment is increasing locally, regionally and nationwide. The Virginia Employment Commission recently announced the Richmond region's unemployment rate increased to 7.9 percent in February, the most recent month for which there are statistics.
"Layoffs at area companies have taken a toll because so many people who used to donate and volunteer for the food bank are now in the position of needing to use the services of the food bank," Reynolds said.
Peanut butter, canned meats, fish, vegetables and fruits, spaghetti sauce, pasta and rice are especially needed. Volunteers also will collect monetary donations.
"It's amazing what even a small donation of food or money can do. Essentially, one pound of food donated equals a whole meal. And through the food bank's purchasing practices, a $1 donation can purchase five pounds of food," said Rebecca Jones, Business Services marketing and public relations manager.
Monroe Park Campus drop off sites will operate from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. at the following locations:
West Broad Street Parking Deck
Cary Street Parking Deck
West Main Street Parking Deck
Commons Convenience (in the University Student Commons)
Harris Hall Convenience Store
Cary Street Market & Deli
Shafer Court Dining Center
MCV Campus drop off locations and times are as follows:
N Parking Deck (7 a.m. - 10 a.m.)
A,C,and I Parking Lots (7 a.m. - 10 a.m.)
D Parking Deck (6:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.)
8th Street Parking Deck (7 a.m. - 7 p.m.)
Main Hospital (7 a.m. - 7 p.m.)
Drive-through drop off locations have been established along West Broad Street at Harrison Street and near the intersection of Cary and Belvidere Streets, to allow members of the community to participate in the food drive.
Organizers plan to continue holding university-wide food drives each fall and spring.
For more information about the food drive, contact Tamara Highsmith at 828-4629 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about making a financial donation, contact Robinette Butler at 828-1148 or email@example.com.