Helping Those in Need: STU Tommies Food Drive

A group of student-athletes believe the spirit of Christmas is about giving back to those who need it most. That’s why the STU Student-Athlete Council organized a food drive to collect donations for the STU Food Bank and the Fredericton Food Bank at Greener Village.

“As student-athletes, we are lucky to receive the amount of support from fans within our community so it is really important to us that we do what we can to give back to the community that gives us so much,” said Taylor Cook, Vice-President of the Student-Athlete Council and a member of the women’s hockey team.

“As many people know, the Christmas season can be extremely difficult for some families and students, so we saw the food drive as a great opportunity not only to bring the student-athletes together to work on a project, but also to work with the community to make this season a little bit easier for those that are in need.”

On December 9, more than 35 student-athletes canvassed Fredericton area neighbourhoods for non-perishable food items. Smaller collections also took place earlier at a volleyball match, a women’s hockey game and a basketball doubleheader.

The students collected roughly 2,000 items, half of which was donated to the Fredericton Food Bank, and the other half to the STU Food Bank.

Fredericton Nissan sponsored the event by providing two Nissan Titan trucks to help haul all the food donations.

“When we finished collection and filled two Nissan Titan trucks with non-perishables, it was absolutely amazing to see the final product of all the preparation for the food drive,” Cook added. “A special thanks to Fredericton Nissan for providing the trucks for the collection.”

Campus Minister Vivien Zelazny, who administers the STU Food Bank, was shocked when she walked into the food bank to find that its contents had more than doubled overnight.

“What an amazing Christmas gift to the food bank,” she said. “There were lots of staples, but also some celebratory things, like cake mixes, cranberry sauce, chocolate—even crab meat! It’s such a blessing to be a part of this generous community, and we’re so grateful to the student-athletes who organized and carried out this food drive.”

Zelazny adds that the food bank is an important feature on campus because university is a time when students’ incomes can be relatively low and they can be at risk for food insecurity.

“The Food Bank could potentially be the difference between a student staying in school or dropping out to find work; it could be the difference between a student excelling in their courses rather than worrying about where to get their next meal. We want to be there for all students, and for their sakes, we depend on the community’s donations.”