Penn College Students Set Ambitious Goal for Canned-Food Drive

Published 04.17.2009

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Drop-off points for SIFE's 'Let's Can Hunger' food drive all will be designated by this poster, affixed to the collection boxes at each participating location.Industrious business students at Pennsylvania College of Technology have begun one of the largest food drives in local history, hoping to collect 10,000 nonperishable items at various locations by April 30.

Spurred by one of its corporate sponsors the Campbell Soup Co. the college's Students in Free Enterprise chapter has set up a network of campus and community drop-off points as part of the nationwide "Let's Can Hunger Challenge." All of the items collected will be donated to the CentralPennsylvania Food Bank, which serves more than 200 distribution centers in 11 regional counties.

"Students In Free Enterprise feel that it's appropriate to complete a project of this magnitude in these turbulent economic times, especially when over 36 million Americans don't know where their next meal is coming from," said Dustin R. Derr, a business administration: management major from Lewisburg and president of Penn College's SIFE chapter. "We ask that other clubs and organizations step up to the plate and help their fellow citizens by providing necessary nonperishable food items to our drive."

The collection is the latest civic-minded project of the Penn College chapter, which is advised by Dennis R. Williams, associate professor of business administration/management. Other recent endeavors have included computer education for nursing-home residents and assistance with the second annual Easter egg hunt in Williamsport's Brandon Park.

A number of sites in downtown Williamsport have been made available as collection points for the canned-food drive: Cuts Coed Fitness, 135 W Fourth St., J.C. Greenya Jewelers, 46 W. Fourth St.; Le Chocolat, 420 Pine St.; Mark Rents to Own, 137 North St.; Martino Insurance, 41 W. Fourth St.; Mayor Gabriel J. Campana's office in City Hall, 245 W. Fourth St.; Otto's Bookstore, 107 W. Fourth St.; PNC Bank, 137 W, Fourth St.; Trimtex Mill Store, 38 W. Fourth St.; and Ozzie & Mae's Hacienda, 43 W. Fourth St.

Nonperishables also will be accepted at the Lycoming Mall Sam's Club store; the Montoursville Wal-Mart and at The Hair Works, 271 Broad St., Montoursville.

Penn College students, faculty and staff have a number of convenient options on main campus, including: the atrium of the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center; Williams' office in Room E225 of that building; the lobby of the Susquehanna Room dining hall in the Hager Lifelong Education Center; the Bush Campus Center information desk and the Madigan Library.

For each $1 of overdue fines owed, the library will acceptone canned-food item. Overdue items must be returned in order for the library to accept canned food as an exchange for fines. Canned goods may not be used toward replacement costs or any processing fees that may be owed.

To help boost campus participation, SIFE is sponsoring a friendly competition among student organizations and fraternities at the college. The winner will be determined by which group brings the most nonperishable items to SIFE's twice-weekly meetings, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center, Room E255. First prize is $50 and a pizza party for the winning organization's members; second and third prize are $40 and $30 for the respective organizations' club accounts.

Campbell's " Let's Can Hunger Challenge " invited SIFE members from around the country to participate in a series of competitions focused on hunger awareness and hunger relief. There are cash prizes and trophies, and the winning team will be featured in a Campbell's print advertisement.

"An integral part of our corporate mission is to nourish people's lives everywhere, every day," said Denise M. Morrison, president, North American Soup, Sauces and Beverages, Campbell Soup Co. "'Canning' hunger in the United States will require some very innovative solutions, which is why we are so excited to engage the passion and creativity of SIFE students from across the country through this challenge."

SIFE is a global nonprofit organization funded by corporations, foundations and entrepreneurs working in partnership with businesses and higher education. It challenges its members to develop community-outreach projects that teach market economics, success skills, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, environmental sustainability and business ethics.

More information about the food drive is available from Derr .

For more information about majors in the School of Business and Computer Technologies, visit online or call 570-327-4517. For general information about Penn College, visit on the Web , e-mail or call toll-free 800-367-9222.