Ohio University students collected more than 1,000 pounds of food during the Department of Campus Life's first spring food drive.
The drive was an unqualified success in building awareness and support for local food pantries while providing students with an opportunity to learn about the ongoing needs in the greater Athens area, said Kevin Smith, interim assistant director of leadership.
While there's plenty of visibility in November and December about food pantries' need for public support, attention falls off during the spring and summer months, even though the need can be just as great, he added.
The two-day collection last weekend generated some 1,015 pounds of non-perishable canned and boxed goods. The Athens Food Pantry will use $150 in monetary donations to continue to stock its shelves.
More than 30 students, many from the LINKS scholarship program, helped collect donations at Boyd, Nelson and Shively halls on campus as well as the CVS on State Street and Athens Kroger.
The drive was a Department of Campus Life Project of the Week. That initiative began in January as a way to coordinate outreach efforts among campus groups and help organizations in Athens and the region. In less than six months, the project has grown from a handful of students involved each week to more than 40 students participating on a weekly basis, Smith said.
-- Kim Corriher