Monday, November 14, 2016 Dare to Care Encourages Students to Collect Food for the Lincoln Community
This November, the Center for Civic Engagement hosted its 12th Dare to Care food drive. Donations to Dare to Care benefit not only the Food Bank of Lincoln, but also OpeN Shelf the current resource for Nebraska students who do not have money to purchase food and other goods.
To celebrate the end of the food drive, the Center for Civic Engagement partnered with Student Involvement's 13th Annual Chili Cook-off hosted on East Campus on Friday, Nov. 11. Prior to the meal of chili and cinnamon rolls, volunteers served the same meal at the Matt Talbot Kitchen. Proceeds from the cook-off event also go to the Matt Talbot Kitchen.
Dare to Care encourages organizations and groups of students to compete against each other and gather as many donations as possible. After the donations are collected, each food item is given a certain number of points. Foods in higher demand receive a higher amount of points. After the points are tallied, a winner is determined.
During the cook-off, the National Agri-Marketing Association was announced as the organization that donated food with the highest point total, including 77 canned meats, 40 canned fruits and vegetables and various boxed dinners and soups.
“With the food drive, serving the meal, and then the chili cook-off, it’s really a three-part effort,” said Brita Sjogren, a student who helped coordinate Dare to Care. "In terms of barrels, we filled five full, with probably another barrel's worth going to OpeN Shelf. Canned goods, boxed dinners, toiletries, and essentials, as well as monetary donations of over $250 were made, which is fantastic!"
According to Feeding America, 42.2 million Americans live in food insecure households. Dare to Care takes place during National Hunger Awareness Month and is a part of a national effort to stop hunger and bring awareness to the fact that many people are food insecure.
“A lot of us just go to the dining hall for our food. We don’t think about families in the area who don’t have that food security or think about our peers who don’t have a meal plan or food security,” said Sjogren. “I think it’s important for students to realize what a privilege it is to go home for Thanksgiving break and know we’re going to have Thanksgiving dinner with our family and not worry about what we’re going to eat tomorrow.”