Oct 142004
 
Authors: Lindsay Reiter

The normally quiet Oval bustled with life Thursday morning as

the Fort Collins community came together in an effort to fight

hunger.

At 10 a.m., CSU President Larry Penley and Professor Emeritus

Tom Sutherland, the honorary chairmen of the event, placed the

first cans around the Oval, officially kicking off the event.

“This is a 17-year tradition and without the support of the

community of Fort Collins and the CSU community this wouldn’t be a

success. Everyone really came together to fight hunger,” said

Kristin Reed, a senior speech communications major and special

events co-coordinator for the Office Student Leadership and Civic

Engagement.

Over the years, the food drive, which is the largest one-day

food drive in Northern Colorado, has become a community event.

This year, 100,428 pounds of food were collected for the Food

Bank for Larimer County. As of 5 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, the

top three contributors to the food bank were the Campus Recreation

Center, the College of Business, and the Lory Student Center.

Because food will continue to be collected today, SLCE does not

know which group collected the most food.

Newsom Hall collected the most food out of all of the residence

halls and Boltz Junior High collected the most food out of all

public schools.

The Food Bank for Larimer County relies heavily on the food that

is donated through the food drive.

“The amount of food this drive brings in doubles other food

drives. It will last us about four and a half months,” said Amy

Pezzani, executive director at the Food Bank for Larimer County.

“Each month the need for food increases. This past September, 700

more people came to the food bank than in September of 2003.”

Soliciting the collection of food for the food bank is important

to Sutherland because of his own experiences.

“I went through a six and a half year period where I didn’t

always get enough to eat. Hunger became a big issue for me and I’ve

been supporting the food bank ever since,” said Sutherland, who was

held hostage in Beirut, Lebanon, for 2,354 days after he was

kidnapped on June 5, 1983, during his employment as dean of

agriculture at the American University of Beirut.

It is not just the CSU community that donates food; the entire

city of Fort Collins pitches in.

“We have all of the schools in Fort Collins doing this together.

There are elementary schools, middle schools and high schools all

collecting food. It really gets everyone together and heightens the

importance of community service and involvement,” Sutherland

said.

Sequoia Williams, a fifth-grader at Bauder Elementary School,

took the day off from school to help line the Oval with cans.

“I brought in two cans because it is fun and makes me feel good

to help people. They can give it to people who don’t have enough

money to buy food,” Williams said.

Ashley Withington, a senior landscape architecture major and

special events co-coordinator for SLCE, got involved in the event

for personal reasons.

“I have a personal goal that I wanted to create a more engaged

CSU community. I wanted to bridge the gap and make students aware

of what’s going on in the community, not just what’s happening on

campus. This is a way for the Fort Collins community to get engaged

in the CSU community. We got schools involved, which really raised

awareness and circulated the word,” Withington said.

Pezzani explained the importance of the food drive to the

community.

“Food is a basic need for all. Because of high housing and

medical costs many people struggle to make ends meet. This food

drive raises hunger-awareness among the community,” Pezzani

said.

Reed agreed.

“I love making a difference. I know I’m in a position to affect

the world and fill a need that is ever-present,” Reed said.

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