UT Community Collects Cans for Hunger Awareness

Published: Nov 10, 2008
Cans Across America is more than just a food drive. For members of The University of Tampa community, Nov. 12 will bring an opportunity to help break a world record while raising awareness of world hunger.

As part of a nationwide effort, UT dining services is organizing a daylong food drive in an effort to help break the world record for largest food drive by a non-charitable organization.

The ultimate goal is to collect 2,000 pounds of canned food items as part of “Cans Across America,” an event organized by Sodexo USA in conjunction with the Sodexo Foundation and the STOP Hunger Initiative. Across the nation, Sodexo aims to collect more than 396,832 pounds of food from more than 450 colleges and universities, corporate dining locations and health care centers. Topping that goal will break the world record for largest food drive by a non-charitable organization.

“Today’s college student is deeply concerned about social issues in the communities in which they grew up and currently live in,” said Wade Burghardt-Culp, marketing director for Sodexo at UT. “Cans Across America is a great way for them to get involved and make a positive impact at home and all across the country.”

Sodexo will collect donations of canned food items all day in UT’s Ultimate Dining cafeteria and Stadium Center food court. Students as well as UT faculty and staff members will be encouraged to participate through a series of promotional events on campus that day.

Beginning at 8 a.m., student teams will come together in UT’s Vaughn Center Plaza for the “Can-Do Builders Challenge.” Each team will vie for the prize of a $300 catering gift certificate as they seek to collect cans in order to build can sculptures in the plaza.

One of the event’s major attractions will take place from noon to 2 p.m., when UT senior J.J. Paolino entertains the crowd with an acoustic guitar performance. Paolino’s performance will air live on local community radio station WMNF.

PEACE, the student volunteer organization at UT, will also display an eye-opening installation piece that will visually represent the percentage of the world that lives in poverty. The piece will consist of reflective popsicle sticks placed in rows across the plaza. PEACE will also distribute information on hunger and homelessness.

“With the current state of the economy, unemployment, gas and food prices, now more than ever we need to reach out to those in need,” said Burghardt-Culp.

All food items collected at the UT event will be donated to America’s Second Harvest of Tampa Bay. Individuals who donate canned or pre-packaged food items to the event will also be eligible to win a mountain bike courtesy of Kellogg’s.

For more information about the Cans Across America event at UT, contact Wade Burghardt-Culp at sodexomarketing@ut.edu.