AACC helps supply the hungry for the holiday season
Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 12:12
It’s that time of year again. Indiana University of Pennsylvania students are gearing up for the long-awaited winter break. Equipped with snowfall, hot chocolate and merry decorations, Christmas time is fast-approaching—but that’s not the only thing approaching.
Along with the Christmas season comes the need for food, warmth and shelter.
The time has come for the African American Culture Center’s (AACC) annual UJAMAA Food Drive.
“We’re very excited about the food drive and we hope that many people are encouraged to donate any food that they have in spirit of the holiday season,” Mariette Bien-Aime (graduate student, student affairs and higher education) said.
“We’re hoping that we donate more than we did last year. We want—from year to year—to get better and continue to have a positive impact on the community.”
In connection with IUP’s InterFaith Council, the food drive started Monday and continues to Dec. 14, anyone may donate non-perishable food items by dropping them in one of the many UJAMAA Food Drive boxes which can be found campus-wide.
IUP students, staff and faculty members as well as members of the Indiana Community are invited to share the holiday spirit with the less fortunate. At the end of the food drive, the collected food items will be donated to the Chevy Chase Community Center Food Bank.
“I think it’s important to donate and contribute to people who are less fortunate during the holidays because this is a time when many people are down and not a lot of things are available for them,” Lashae Lewis (senior, sociology) said. “It just goes to show how big your heart can be.”
The AACC’s UJAMAA Food Drive began in the Fall of 2010, according to Dr. Carolyn Princes of the AACC.
Originally a community service item of the UJAMAA living-learning community (located in Delaney Hall), the UJAMAA Food Drive has become a beacon of hope to the less fortunate during economic hard-ship.
“Hunger is a major issue in our community,” Princes said. “and one thing we can do as a community is to help make sure those who can not afford food will not go hungry.”
Hosted each semester, the UJAMAA Food Drive helps to support the food needs of members of the community who are in need, according to Princes.
As well as a community service item of the UJAMAA living-learning community, Princes said the program was started as a way of providing students with an opportunity to give back and and to help others.
Although the food drive is centered on the UJAMAA Living-Learning Floor, clearly marked boxes are located at various locations on campus and have been divided between those the AACC will be responsible for and those InterFaith Council will be responsible for.
“Of all we can do as a community” Princes said, “is to not have one person experience hunger and we hope this program will help and provide students with an opportunity for their civic responsibility.”
Princes said the IUP community has been generous in giving and AACC members hope IUP students as well as Indiana community members will continue to do so this semester.
“This is a time when giving is in the atmosphere,” Lewis said. “It makes you a more warm and heartened person to consider someone else during the holiday season-- some people may not have family to go to to help them out.”