Students battle police for worthy cause
Nov. 1, 2003
KALAMAZOO -- Student organizations at Western Michigan University are teaming up to collect canned foods as part of the Greater Kalamazoo Area Holiday Food Drive. The drive begins today and continues through Dec. 5, with campus collection points at the Bernhard Center Candy Counter, Waldo Library, Faunce Student Services Building and Wesley Foundation.
Members of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety and Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department--organizers of the annual food drive--have again issued a challenge to WMU students to collect more canned food than the public safety officers do.
"Last year, WMU students collected nearly 8,000 cans. This year, 30,000 students will do better!" says Ben Lando, general manager of radio station WIDR, one of several student organizations supporting the campus food drive effort.
The police-sponsored community food drive began in 1993, when the Black Police Officers Association collected food for 40 area families. Last year, the Greater Kalamazoo Area Holiday Food Drive delivered food baskets to 1,250 area families. This year's goal is 1,350 families. One week's worth of food will be delivered the weekend before Christmas to needy families identified by the Salvation Army, Kalamazoo Family Courts, Family Independence Agency, and local schools.
By formal resolution, the Western Student Association has encouraged student participation in this year's drive. In addition to WSA and WIDR, student organizations that have pledged support include the Campus Activities Board, Progressive Student Alliance, WMU NAACP, Interfraternity Council, Western Panhellenic Council and Social Work Action Alliance.
Fraternities and sororities will have collection boxes in each of their houses for a special IFC-WPC competition during the drive.
Also supporting the holiday food drive, a "Stop Hunger Benefit Concert" is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 23, at Kraftbrau Brewery, 402 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo. The concert will include performances by Red Shift, SpitShine, Longshot and WIDR's Bringham Young, host of the radio program "Hip-Hop Ethics." Admission is $5 and $3 with the contribution of a canned good. Proceeds will be divided among the Greater Kalamazoo Area Holiday Food Drive, Oxfam Hunger Banquet and Swords Into Plowshares Peace Center.
Media contacts: Harold West, Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, 269 337-8169; Ben Lando, 89.1 FM WIDR, 269 760-5107, firstname.lastname@example.org; Thom Myers, WMU Office of University Relations, 269 387-8400, email@example.com