DWU Annual Freshman Food Drive brings in more than 2 tons

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Dakota Wesleyan freshmen conducted their annual food drive Sunday, bringing in 4,230 pounds of food to the Mitchell Salvation Army Food Pantry.

“It was a phenomenal turnout for us,” said Brandon Vetter, DWU campus pastor and food drive organizer. “I’m really pleased with how it went – we had about 285 freshmen and student leaders canvassing the city of Mitchell and as always, the city was very generous.”

This year’s class of freshmen, along with DWU staff and current students, conducted the food drive from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 25. Donations were brought to the Mitchell Salvation Army Food Pantry where DWU and Salvation Army volunteers sorted and shelved the food.

Last year’s food drive brought in 4,350 pounds, which is the all-time record, but Vetter isn’t disappointed that this year’s drive didn’t beat it.

“Mitchell has always given generously toward the Salvation Army Food Pantry during the Freshman Food Drive,” Vetter said. “I honestly think we brought in probably the same amount of food as last year but less canned goods, which weigh more. The food pantry was asking for a lot of dry goods like macaroni and cheese, boxed potatoes, Hamburger Helper and cereal and I think we were able to bring in a lot of that for them – so the students and the town did an amazing thing today.”

The Freshman Food Drive is a large component of the New Student Orientation weekend at Dakota Wesleyan and an activity that is structured to help new students acclimate to their new community, as well as the university’s motto of “Sacrifice or Service.”

“We say it every year and that is that the food drive is ‘faith in action,’” Vetter said. “The food drive is just one of the ways Dakota Wesleyan helps teach the next generation to give back to its community and volunteer their time to help a neighbor. We don’t just want to sit in a classroom and teach students to be leaders; here at DWU, we send them into the world and have them experience that role.”

The Mitchell Salvation Army Food Pantry is open from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday-Friday, and donations may be dropped off during that time or from 3 to 6 p.m. at the thrift store.

According to the Salvation Army’s statistics, 2,622 bags of food were distributed in the months of May through July in 2012 and the need has increased to 4,351 bags during the same summer months this year.

“The food pantry’s needs have never really gone down for quite some time, really since the recession,” said Major Linda Jones, of the Salvation Army said earlier this month. “When I first came here seven years ago, we were only servicing 300 people from the pantry, now we serve 600-900.”

DWU is a private, liberal arts university associated with the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Categories: News
Dakota Wesleyan University was named to the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This designation is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
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