For several years, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Office of Visitor & Information Programs (VIP) has coordinated an NBC15 “Share Your Holidays” holiday food drive for families in need. This year, the organizers will join forces with other campus groups for an effort greater than the sum of its parts.
From Monday, Nov. 8 through Friday, Dec. 3, the all-campus food drive will collect nonperishable food items for the NBC15 “Share Your Holidays” effort to eliminate hunger campaign. This effort raises meals for Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin, a nonprofit serving families and individuals facing hunger in 16 southwestern Wisconsin counties.
Multiple locations across campus will collect donations:
- Red Gym (Campus Information Center), 716 Langdon St.,
- Welcome Center, 21 N. Park St.
- DoIT TechStore, 1210 W. Dayton St.
- Weeks Hall (main lobby), 1215 W. Dayton St.
- Wisconsin Alumni Association, 650 N. Lake St.
Additional locations will soon be available through participating groups and buildings, including the Memorial Library, 333 East Campus Mall and the School of Business.
In past years, campus departments have run parallel food drives independently during the NBC15 “Share Your Holidays” campaign. To increase donations this year, VIP met with representatives from the All Greek Council, the UW Band, the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) and the Department of Geoscience to lay the groundwork for a coordinated campaign. Other groups joined soon after.
“Because we’re able to market our NBC15 ‘Share Your Holidays’ food drives together, it’ll improve our logistics,” says Matt De Re, event co-organizer and marketing specialist for VIP. “In the past, some departments may have pursued it internally on a smaller level. Many people were willing to donate in the past but didn’t know about it. Now, everybody’s going to get the word out and encourage greater awareness.”
In addition to the original collaborators, departments and organizations currently involved include the Undergraduate Theatre Association; DoIT’s Technology Academy; the Memorial Library; the Office of the Registrar; the Wisconsin Alumni Association; select residence halls; the College of Letters and Science and School of Business; and the departments of Horticulture, Occupational and Physical Therapy and Population Health Sciences.
Donors may also make monetary contributions to the NBC15 “Share Your Holidays” campaign through Second Harvest Foodbank’s website. All donations made through this special link will be coded to UW-Madison and, if indicated, credited to a specific department or organization.
Contributions make a direct impact in 16 southwestern Wisconsin counties. The Hunger in Southwestern Wisconsin 2010 study indicates that in these 16 counties, Second Harvest Foodbank serves 140,600 individuals each year, of which 43% (about 60,000) are children. In any given week, 22,700 people receive emergency food assistance. 239 partner agencies — including food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters — contributed to the survey.