Valley United Against Hunger food drive aims for highest goal yet

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BYU and UVU alumni associations are joining forces with a goal to raise $60,000 for the second Valley United food drive for Community Action Services and Food Bank through the month of November.

According to UVU marketing and communications, last year Valley United Against Hunger donors gave $35,600. This year, the alumni associations have heightened their efforts to reach their new goal of $60,000 according to the BYU Alumni Association. Their scope covers both BYU and UVU campus as well as the involvement of many local businesses.

During the food drive in 2012 Community Action brought a "cougar tail" for students to get them in the giving spirit.
Students wait in line for the Cougar Tail from the 2012 Community Action food drive. (Photo courtesy Community Action Services and Food Bank)

According to Craig Severinsen, director of communications at Community Action Services and Food Bank, the Valley United Against Hunger food drive started as a partnership between BYU and the University of Utah. Eventually, this program fell through and BYU and UVU came together to create the Valley United Against Hunger food drive.

BYU is involved through events during November including a concert and the world’s longest cougar tail. There will also be a blitz collection, during which volunteers will drop off grocery bags at some on- and off-campus housing for residents to use for donations. The bags will then be collected at a scheduled time. Madylyn Thorn, vice president of communications for student alumni, said there will be a booth set up on campus and bins for donation.

“At BYU we have the privilege to have so much given to us, so giving a dollar or canned food may not seem like a lot to someone, but giving can make a difference,” Thorn said.

The scope of the food drive is broadening to make a difference in several Utah communities. According to Severinsen, Heber Valley is doing the same project.

“Be involved because it’s a great opportunity to make a real impact on our community during the holidays,” Severinsen said. “We’re more than just a food bank. We’re a program to get people out of poverty. It’s a perfect opportunity to help.”

According to Community Action Services and Food Bank, one in five Utah County households with children experiences food hardship. A single, one-dollar donation can provide five meals or 15 pounds of food to a Utah County family in need.

Donation marks, or publicly posted papers that donors can write their names on, are available for a purchase of $1–$5 on both BYU and UVU campuses and other local businesses. The United Way is also joining these efforts by providing an online donation site where individuals can give using debit or credit cards.

“We’re overwhelmed with the support we’ve already received in the community for this important, alumni-driven service project,” said Jeri Allphin, director of the UVU Alumni Association. “After our experiences last year, we have made improvements and expect to achieve our service goals again. The valley is certainly uniting against hunger and doing something to help the community.”

BYU Valley United Against Hunger Events

Concert at The Wall
Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m.
Admission: $1 or 3 cans of food

World’s Largest Cougar Tail provided by BYU Dining Services
Wednesday, Nov. 20, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m in Wilkinson Student Center Terrace
Admission: $1 for a piece of Cougar Tail

Blitz food collection
Thursday–Saturday, Nov. 21–23

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