Weber State University students and Ogden City are banding together to raise awareness for Hunger Action Month in September. Alex Holt, student chair for the Catholic Community Services food bank, part of the Center for Community Engaged Learning, is helping the food bank gather donations.
The first event, Dine Out to Help Out, is an all-day activity on 25th Street in Ogden. On Sept. 17, Roosters and the Union Grill will donate 10 percent of their proceeds to the food bank.
Holt said the goal is to help the food bank put the money toward future events such as future food drives, ESL classes for the community, and community fairs where patrons can learn more about getting prepared for the work force.
Mike McNeil, student recruitment officer, said a photo contest will take place on the WSU Food Bank Facebook page.
“You take a picture of you and your friends out eating,” McNeil said, “and whoever has the most creative photo will be awarded a cool T-shirt.”
It’s a chance to go out with friends or take a date and have an impact on the community at the same time, he said.
The week will finish with a food drive held Sept. 21 at the Walmart in Harrisville and on Wall Avenue. Nonperishable food items will be collected from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day.
The committee will also collect donations on campus and man a booth in the Shepherd Union Building throughout the week.
“We are focused on getting WSU students involved,” said Holt, who is trying to recruit volunteers to help with the food drive on Saturday. “We will have snow cones and popcorn in the union building, getting the word out and trying to sign up people, or if people have questions about our organization in general, they can just ask us.”
Maresha Bosgieter, volunteer and community outreach coordinator for the Catholic Community Services of Utah, said involvement in the organization has increased over the past five years because of the organization’s involvement with the CCEL and the interns it has had.
“We are looking for ways to increase our image and add fundraising to the community,” she said.
According to Bosgieter, events with the CCEL are helping Catholic Community Services find ways to do this. She said that all the donated canned food is taken to the food bank, where they are put into 1,000-pound bins. Volunteers sort the food into categories. The clients are then able to take a shopping cart once a month and pick out the items they need.
There are income guidelines for those seeking help, and they obtain a food card if they meet the requirements. The food values from $150 to $200.
“We don’t buy any food; everything is donations,” Bosgieter said. “This is the largest food bank in northern Utah. In Ogden we run the food bank and give food to over 2,300 households.”