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October 29, 2001

Organizers set goal of 20 tons in Second Harvest Holiday Food Drive

By Louise Donahue

A sure sign of fall is the Second Harvest Holiday Food Drive, which begins on November 1 on campus with a goal of 20 tons--up from last year's 18 tons.

Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood is co-chair of the Second Harvest Holiday Food Drive for Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. Photo: Don Harris
Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood is co-chair with Plantronics Inc. president and CEO Ken Kannappan of the holiday drive for Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. Campus organizers hope UCSC will be the top nonprofit contributor in the county this year.

"The Second Harvest Food Bank Holiday Food Drive is a priority for me
because I believe that no one should go hungry in our community. This is a
problem we must address, and I know that our campus can make a difference.
Together, we can make sure that families in need have nutritious food on
their tables for the holiday season and beyond. I encourage everyone to
help," the chancellor said.

Donation envelopes and food bags will be included in a campus mailing. Donations may be sent back via campus mail, and filled grocery bags may also be left at office mail stops to be picked up by Campus Mail staffers.

In addition, Mail Services will have a truck at the main entrance to the campus from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. for dropoffs November 5-9, November 26-30, and December 10-14.

"We're trying to make it as convenient as possible to donate," said Mail Services manager Manny Grijalva, who with Leslie Sunell, assistant chancellor, is coordinating the drive. Also providing crucial and significant support are Campus Mail Services staff, the Staff Advisory Board, and food drive committee members.

Cash donations are especially helpful. For every dollar donated, Second Harvest can get $10 worth of food, thanks to discounts, bulk buying, and other special arrangements. The 20-ton campus goal includes food collected and its cash equivalent; for every dollar given, UCSC is credited for three pounds of food.

Helping with the food drive gives the Campus Mail staff a good feeling, Grijalva said. "It's very satisfying. In a big way, we actually are helping to feed the hungry children." About half of the people helped by Second Harvest are children.

Grijalva praised Greenwood for her role in the food drive, noting that nutrition has been one of the chancellor's areas of research. "She knows the effects of not getting proper nutrition in a growing body," said Grijalva.

In what may be the beginning of a campus trend, Physical Plant staffers have issued a friendly challenge to CATS that they will raise more food and money than the techies. "Hopefully, it will make it kind of fun," said Physical Plant business coordinator Rachel Huff. She said the exact stakes in the challenge have not yet been determined.

UCSC students are also heavily involved in the drive. They will be holding a campuswide canned food drive throughout the month of November and will be accepting food bank donations.

Students will also participate in the Give a Meal program at every college on campus. This program allows students with meal plans to sign away their meals for an entire day--Friday, November 16. The cost of their meals will be donated to Second Harvest. Students are encouraged to sign up with their resident assistants, neighborhood assistants, or community assistants to donate.

The drive will wrap up on December 14 with a "Fill the Bus" event. On that day, a Santa Cruz Metro bus goes around to collect food from the various sites participating in the drive.

UCSC will be one of the last stops. At that point, the food collected during the final week of the drive at UCSC will be loaded into the bus. (Food collected earlier will be distributed right away to those in need.)

The Second Harvest Food bank provides food for 38,000 people a month.

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