In a recent food drive competition, Minnesota State University, Mankato partnered with local businesses and raised 1400 pounds of food with $900 in cash donations.
It all started with an idea as many organizations such as Student Government, Student Affairs, and the Herd recognized that the campus cupboard needed more food donations.
After the competition, many volunteers at the campus cupboard were amazed about the slew of food donations they received as helpers brought in boxes and boxes of goods ranging from girl scout’s cookies, macaroni, and canned goods.
Laura Soland, a dietetic major and volunteer at the campus cupboard said, “We got a lot from the food drive, which is such a blessing. Just one person’s idea turned into a huge benefit and now all the student’s that come here have a huge variety to choose from.”
The Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment brought the idea to Student Government as he mentioned there was a food drive occurring with the Herd. He also mentioned Winona State University was doing a similar food drive.
This sparked interest within the Student Government as they decided to reach out to WSU and make it a fun competition between the schools.
The food drive was held between Sept. 23-27. However, donations were still accepted the day of the game, Sept. 28, but was not counted towards the competition.
Anisa Omar, Student Government President, said, “The main thing was getting students to get to know more about our campus cupboard and putting it out there, and getting students to donate. Our idea was bringing faculty into it but still having it student focused and reaching outside of faculty and bringing local businesses inside of it.”
Student Government partnered with Hy-Vee, both Cub Foods locations, Oak Terrace Assisted Living, the YWCA, and Wells Fargo.
These local Mankato businesses were a huge part up beating WSU as they raised 453 items and a cash donation of $248 compared to MNSU who raised 2,200 items and a cash donation of $900.
Omar stated, “The plus about our university is that we’re surrounded by a lot of community and a lot of businesses who were able to assist us, so I’m not sure what their demographics look like over there, but we’re very fortunate to have that help.”
Many student organizations and campus offices partook in helping with the food drive including Student Government, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Community Engagement, International Student Association, Black Student Union, The Herd, Residence Hall Association, and Kappa Alpha Psi.
The Student Government hopes to make the food drive a yearly event. This year the Student Government only had a week and half to plan it, but are hoping next year that they’ll have more time to make the food drive even bigger.
Omar said, “We’re hoping to expand it and get more partnerships. A lot of businesses require 30 days in advance so now that where we’re going to do it yearly we can start planning for that so we can have a better outcome than we did this year. Even though this year was an amazing outcome we want to keep improving.”
Header photo by Mansoor Ahmad | MSU Reporter.