November 20, 2009
The 2009 Helping Hands Across America food drive began on October 22 continued for three weeks until November 12.
Helping Hands Across America is a nationwide canned goods and non-perishable food drive sponsored annually by Sodexo, Rollins’ dining services provider. More than 1,000 Sodexo accounts throughout the country worked alongside each other to collect donations in their area. Each account then donated their collected items to a local charitable organization as part of a monumental effort to provide relief to those in need during these challenging economic times.
“Every day, 350,000 people in Central Florida alone are at risk of going hungry,” Sasha Hausman from Second Harvest Food Bank told Rollins’ students, faculty and staff. “Hunger is a solvable problem.”
This year, Rollins was challenged to raise its contribution more than 100 percent from last year’s 3,777 pounds to 10,000 pounds to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank.
On November 12, the official weigh-in of the collected canned goods, as well as wholesale cost items purchased through monetary donations, was held in one of the food bank’s local warehouses. The total weight came to 12,293 pounds – exceeding the set goal by 2,293 pounds. Hausman calculated this amount to be the equivalent to about 8,195 meals for hungry individuals across Central Florida.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida collects and distributes approximately 60 million pounds of food each year through 540 local agencies. These donations, obtained mainly through food drives, enable the organization to distribute $45 million worth of food at a wholesale price of $5 million in shipping costs. The food Rollins donated will be shipped from their warehouse within a single week.
-Kristin Schendel (Class of 2010) contributed to this story