TERRE HAUTE —
Cans of chili, sweet peas, mushroom soup and Beefaroni were among donated food items stacked near an ISU athletic bus Wednesday on Dede Plaza as part of Indiana State University’s annual Jam the Bus food drive.
The goal Wednesday was to obtain at least 16,000 pounds of non-perishable food, said Carly McDonald, a junior at ISU and member of the Hulman Memorial Student Union Board, who served as student coordinator for the event. The eight tons would match last year’s collection.
“We hope to raise enough to bring our overall total, the total since we started, up to 50,000 pounds,” McDonald said. “This event raised only 700 pounds [of food] in the first year, so it has grown quite a bit since then.”
“This food goes to Catholic Charities. It is a food drive that we have been doing since 2005. We have raised 36,000 pounds of food since then,” McDonald said.
Dana Babel, district manager for Sodexo, which provides dining service for ISU, said $1,960 was collected by Sodexo from $1 donations from ISU students, faculty and staff. That amount was then matched by Pepsi Refreshment Services.
In addition, Sodexo sold $1 cappuccino beverages, collecting $2,413. Money collected was used to purchase three pallet loads of canned goods. Food distributor S. Abraham and Sons also donated an additional $1,300 in canned goods.
On Wednesday, Sodexo sold canned goods for 25 cents at the Campus Cupboard, located inside the Hulman Memorial Student Union building, for the Jam the Bus event. The purchased cans were placed into a bin. Another collection bin, picked up Wednesday, had also been placed at Baesler’s Market.
“This is one of Sodexo's ‘Helping Hands,’ our community engagement effort in support of Terre Haute and Indiana State,” Babel said.
ISU sororities and fraternities held a “food war,” which generated about 1,500 cans of food, said Donna Wilson, marketing coordinator for Sodexo. Prizes for the top sorority and fraternity donators included a pizza party from Sodexo and gift cards from Baesler’s.
Amy Simonson, Pepsi sales manager, said this year marked the second year the soft drink company has been involved with Jam the Bus.
“We are thankful to be able to be a part of all the great things that happen on campus. What a fun time to help you and help a great organization like Catholic Charities,” Simonson told a group of student organizers gathered around the bus Wednesday morning.
Tom Kuhl, director of the Catholic Charities Food Bank, told student organizers “this truly means a lot to the community and to the food bank and the agencies that we serve. Thanks to all the staff, faculty and students at ISU. We truly appreciate what you do to help us feed the hungry in our community.
“This brings meaning to us that we know that we are not alone in this fight against hunger. One in four children in the state of Indiana goes hungry or does not know where their next meal is coming from,” Kuhl said, “so it is good to know that we have the support of the ISU community and what they do for us.”
Kuhl said 16,000 pounds of food “equates to about 12,000 meals. That will go a long way this holiday season to be able to put a good meal on the table for a lot of people.”
Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.