Student groups collaborate to fight winter hunger

Ellen Kirtner

With the holidays comes an increased need for food at charities like the Cleveland Foodbank. To help ease the demand, the Kent State chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Kent Interhall Council and Voices of Testimony Gospel Choir have all joined forces for a food drive.

JaRel Clay, fundraising and community service chair of the NAACP, said they are looking to collect nonperishable food, as well as loose change and small monetary donations. The Cleveland Foodbank is able to use the money to supply meals to those who need them, he said.

The groups will be hosting a table in the Student Center to offer a location for donation drop-offs and to give students more information on the poverty the Cleveland area is facing, Clay said.

The table will be open today from noon to 4 p.m., and the groups will also be at the table Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of next week from noon to 5 p.m.

Those interested in donating can also drop off nonperishable food items at the Center for Student Involvement, the Office of Student Success Programs, the Sports Administration Office, Leander’s Barbershop and the Upward Bound Office, Clay said.

Donations will also be collected in residence halls. Andy Sokolich, director of community development for Kent Interhall Council, said KIC is hoping to pool as many donations from the residence halls as possible.

Sokolich said KIC is offering Hall of the Semester points to the hall councils for each item donated to the drive to encourage donations.

The month-long drive will end with the Voices of Testimony Gospel Choir’s concert at 6 p.m. on Nov. 20 in Cartwright Hall Auditorium. The concert is free of charge, and there will be donation boxes for food items, said Marquis Davis, president of Voices of Testimony.

“Every can will help,” Davis said. “Just think if that was you in that situation. You would want somebody to help you out.”

The groups are also hosting a community dinner in the Oscar Ritchie Hall Multipurpose Room on Nov. 23. Davis said they wanted to make sure to give back to Portage County along with their efforts to help the Cleveland area. Voices of Testimony will be performing at the event.

Clay said they planned the dinner in order to provide support back to the community and to help area families who might not otherwise be able to have a Thanksgiving dinner.

Contact Ellen Kirtner at [email protected].