The Ithaca College community donated 120 pounds of food last Wednesday for Cans Across America, a nationwide, one-day-long initiative to stop hunger. The college, which donated the food it collected to a local food pantry, increased its donations by 15 percent from last year.
Senior Melissa Horowitz, who works as the marketing intern for Ithaca College Dining Services, said Cans Across America is a combined effort of all Sodexho campus dining accounts to benefit local charities. Other colleges that participated in the event include the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., and Buffalo State University in Buffalo, N.Y.
“It’s a campus-wide campaign to break the world record of how many cans our school can raise within a 24 hour period, through students, organizations and employees,” she said.
The current Guinness World Record for food collected in a single event is 221,028.85 pounds, which was reached in 2006 by Regina and District Food Bank, a member of a national coalition of food banks in Canada.
Greg Yost, senior public relations officer for Sodexho, said last year’s collections from nationwide campuses for Cans Across America fell short of the world record. Yost said last year’s collections totaled 112,869.93 pounds.
Julie Whitten, marketing manager for Sodexho, said the total number of pounds of food collected this year would not be available for the next couple of weeks while Sodexho organizes the donations.
Freshman Alana Amorese donated cans in the Towers and IC Square. She said she thought the campaign was well thought out.
“They had boxes at numerous locations [which] made it easier to donate food,” she said.
Horowitz said though the drive was part of a national campaign, the benefits were geared toward the local community. The proceeds went to a local food shelf, the Freeville Food Pantry, in Freeville, N.Y.
Horowitz said the college, which accepted both food and monetary donations, aimed high to try to beat the record.
“We [hoped] for … a dollar for each student [and] about a hundred cans per location,” Horowitz said.
Jaime Provenzano, a freshman at the college, said she is interested in the cause and donated food to Sub Connection in the Towers. She said she has participated in food drives before and was happy to continue her effort.
“My family always donated food to our local church and schools when there were food drives,” she said. “I am glad I was able to donate food here as well.”
Horowitz said the college encourages students to get involved in the community, but the drive called on students to take donating upon themselves.
“I feel that no matter what, there is always a way to be part of community service on campus,” Horowitz said. “Our school really pushes students to give back and that no matter what week or day, there is always some sort of community service event or project to be a part of.”