The BYU Student Alumni Association is holding its annual “Valley United Against Hunger” food drive throughout November. The monthlong event will include activities and opportunities for students to donate to those in need.
The association has partnered with UVU, BYU Dining Services, the BYU Store, and Community Action Services and Food Bank — a local group that helps make sure the food gets to families in need.
“Community Action helps 14,000 people every year,” said BYU student Dallin Hatch, executive director over the food drive. “They have a lot of partnerships with big retailers in the area, and they’re able to make donations go a long way.”
Hatch said Community Action doesn’t simply hand out free food; the organization makes sure the food is given to those who need it most. He wanted to remind students that the food goes to people who honestly need it.
The groups of people who receive the majority of this aid are those with blindness, deafness, lost limbs or mental disabilities. Single mothers and elderly citizens also receive help, according to Hatch.
However, this event is about more than simply “giving a man a fish.” Cate Carabine, vice president over philanthropy for BYU Student Alumni, said the program has long-term solutions in mind for the people it helps.
“The program doesn’t just help people with their immediate needs like clothes and food,” Carabine said. “It’s designed to help get people back on their feet and out of poverty.”
Hatch said in addition to helping with immediate needs, Community Action also provides classes to help people learn about managing their money, generating an income and other useful life skills. The participants must sign up for these classes and show improvement in order to receive aid.
The food drive’s slogan this year is, “One minute. One dollar. One family.” The drive promises a donation of $1 can provide 15 pounds of food to a local family in need.
“It’s awesome to learn that just $1 feeds a family, and just in time for Thanksgiving,” said BYU student Krista Ek, a volunteer member of Student Alumni.
Hatch said those participating in the food drive believe this is a truly special event.
“If someone is hesitant to donate, it’s because they don’t know what it goes to,” Hatch said. “I believe people are good, and when they hear about how this works I think they’ll really want to donate.”
For more information about food drive-related activities this month, students can follow BYU Student Alumni on Instagram. More information about the events and how to donate can also be found on the Student Alumni webpage.