On the cusp of Thanksgiving Break, many Mines students showed true holiday spirit and helped to feed families on campus. The Colorado School of Mines 20th Annual Holiday Food drive was held Friday, Nov. 14, in the Ben Parker Student Center. Organized by Peg Mason, Louisa Duley, and Frances Aguilar, the food drive partnered with Castle of Cans, another organization that collects canned, non-perishable foods for the benefit of the Golden Food Bank each December.
The drive accepts non-perishable foods and gift cards that can be used to purchase food and other high-need items for families.
“The president’s office buys the gift cards for us, so we can put them in the boxes,” explained Peg Mason. The food drive encourages members of the campus community, including Sodexo (the company in charge of Mines dining and catering) to donate. Boxes are set out in various halls on campus where students can leave food for later collection. An average box can contain various dry pastas, canned vegetables, peanut butter, chilis, soups, and baby food, when available. Breads and fresh foods are donated by Sodexo.
The drive is staffed with various volunteers. Castle of Cans volunteers support the project, as well as students from various fraternities and sororities each year.
“We put out an email to the campus and ask for people to let us know if they know of someone that needs assistance, or they can nominate themselves,” Mason explained. “They’ll tell me who they are, how many people they have in the family. I ask them if they have any children, so we can pack the boxes accordingly”.
The staff is responsible for packing boxes with food and distributing them during the drive, which ran this year until noon. In the event that there are extra boxes left over, surplus food is taken the Christian Action Guild, a food bank local to Golden. Anyone who lives on or near campus is welcome to receive food – students, staff, and faculty alike. Approximately 42 families were assisted this year with food.
According to Mason, the drive is, and has been, very effective at reaching local families and providing them with assistance during the holiday season. The drive occurs every year, and volunteers are always welcomed and encouraged.