Holiday Help in the Community
Story posted December 20, 2006
Bowdoin College is stepping up to the plate in a number of ways to make sure there is food on the table for families in need this holiday season.
The Student Affairs Division organized a food drive to benefit both the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention program, which is just off campus on Union Street, and the food pantry at Freeport Community Services.
The Community Service Council, the umbrella organization for student-run community service programs, organized food and cash donation drives that took in non-perishables and $250, which also benefited Freeport Community Services.
Freeport Community Services found itself temporarily in trouble recently, when a miscommunication with the government meant a three-month supply of food would not arrive during this crucial time of year.
The food from Bowdoin was delivered just in time. “It came in on a day when the shelves were empty,” says Sue Mack, family services coordinator at Freeport Community Services. “I didn’t even measure or weigh it. It went right into Christmas boxes.”
Mack says the agency, which served 16,500 people last year, ironed out the glitch and will get its government food.
Food is just part of the mission of Sponsor a Family, a program organized by the Salvation Army and now in its seventh year at Bowdoin. Students, faculty, staff, sports teams and clubs formed 41 groups, which together sponsored 30 local families.
Each sponsored family receives a holiday dinner or gift certificate for dinner at a restaurant, one new outfit for every child in the family, and as many as four other items for each child. A gift for the parents is also included, for an average total of $250 per family. The Salvation Army distributes the items.
Nicole Hart ’06, an AmeriCorps *VISTA working in the Community Service Resource Center, helped coordinate the Sponsor a Family effort.
“It’s meeting a big need in the community in a hard time of year and meeting it in a personal and fun way,” says Hart, who also participated on the giving end. “I had a great time shopping for the people that my friends and I sponsored.”
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