By Stormy Knight
Thirty thousand people utilize the Westmoreland County Food Bank, according to Megan Zubalik, a junior. Zubalik headed the campus-wide food drive from October 17-26, 2007 with five other students from Catherine Giunta’s Human Resource Management course.
“The class’ outreach projects are hands-on experiences to enhance learning and are well-received by students,” said Giunta. All of the collected food went directly to the county food bank.
When Zubalik’s group was assigned the food-drive, they knew publicizing the event was crucial to the potential amount of food collected. Many SHU departments and faculty members aided in helping the students spread the word around campus.
“We decided to go with mass advertisements. There was a flyer in everybody’s mailbox, a global e-mail was sent, information appeared on the Rolling Times TV and on the sign at the entrance to the drive,” said Zubalik.
“The group worked diligently to ensure the entire campus was involved in collecting food,” said Giunta.
Zubalik and the rest of the group placed flyers and collection boxes all over campus. The boxes were checked on throughout the length of the food drive and emptied as necessary by the students.
“We asked Darren (Achtezhn, director of food service) for help so that we could put flyers in the dining hall. Margie Dominick and her work-study group also put signs in the rotating displays on the dining hall tables for us, and Jaimie Steele allowed us to write on the calendar outside her office,” said Zubalik.
The food drive did not only benefit the food bank, but the students as well. According to Giunta, projects like the food drive help to develop a personal commitment in the students.
“I have found that this can lead to student’s lifetime awareness and volunteerism for important social issues that also impact their workplaces,” she said.
Giunta added that having students run the food-drive helped it to be more successful because they encouraged their friends to participate.
“Students are more inclined to donate if another student asked them to versus a professor or other adult,” said Molly Beavers, a junior.
Andrea Acker, an adjunct professor at SHU gave her classes extra credit for donating to the food drive, and also donated a great deal herself. Ed Sandsmark, an adult degree program student, donated six boxes.
“I believe the turn-out was great, we were all thrilled with what we received,” said Zubalik.