Benefiting Feed-A-Bull and local food pantries around Tampa, the annual Charit-A-Bull canned food drive hopes to bring in record numbers this year during Homecoming week.
The Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement (CLCE) will be collecting nonperishable goods in the Marshall Student Center (MSC) Atrium from Oct. 3-13.
Feed-A-Bull is a program where students, faculty and staff can go and receive supplementary food as well as hygiene and household items, according to CLCE Director Mike Severy. He said the organization is seeing the most benefit from this event.
“As Feed-A-Bull has just recently expanded their capacity, we’re hopeful that almost all of our donations go directly to that,” Severy said.
“Extending all throughout Homecoming week, we will be collecting donations and nonperishable items to go towards the Feed-A-Bull program, helping our USF community out,” Associate Director of the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) Josh Wilson said.
As of Oct. 7, about 3,000 pounds of donations have been collected.
Last year, the drive was able to collect about 5,000 pounds of canned goods, up from 3,000 the year before, according to CLCE records.
The goal this year is to reach 7,000 pounds of cans.
“Students can bring in any kind of nonperishables, but canned goods are the easiest to move,” Severy said.
Other items consist of canned goods, soups, rice, pasta and pasta sauce, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and breakfast foods. All food donations, aside from expired foods and cans with deep dents, are accepted.
The “can-struction” display, a structure made from the donated goods, will be stationed near the USF Pharmacy under the stairs in the MSC.
Along with the display will be “signposts with educational facts about hunger initiatives,” according to the CSI BullSync page.
After the donations are collected, volunteers will package the goods and distribute them to local food pantries and the on-campus Feed-A-Bull program.
“Charit-A-Bull is one of the biggest sources of donations,” said Katie Webster, a USF dietitian overseeing the Feed-A-Bull pantry operations. “The donations from this event in previous years have been the main drive for the fall semester, it keeps us stocked for almost the entire fall semester.”