The UST Libraries just kicked off their 7th Annual Food Drive. Since the Library’s first drive in 2009, where we received 156 lbs. of food to last year’s donation of 927 lbs., the Library has donated a total of 3,344 lbs of food to local food shelves.
For the first 6 years of the program the Library emphasized the opportunity for library users to donate food in exchange for the forgiving of overdue library fines. A student could donate 1 can of food and the Library would then waive $2 of fines. Over the years the Library has forgiven a total of $6,836 fines.
However, over time we noticed that the vast majority of donors were either students, whole dorms, or staff and faculty, who just wanted to give food, regardless of any reciprocity.
In the fall of 2011 the Library was approached by the English Department to offer a mid-year food drive, in collaboration with their Common Context theme “Hunger”, which “focused on numerous aspects of hunger and scarcity on a global and local scale, but they also are designed to inspire the consideration of related dimensions of hunger including desire, longing and the struggle for justice.”
Since the inception of the food drive the Library’s primary interest was to offer students an alternative to paying for overdue fines and at the same time allow for the UST community to bless a local food shelf. We wanted to donate to food shelves that may be impacted by our campus and likewise may even serve some members of our institution. Since we started offering the program, we have donated to the Franciscan Brothers of Peace (’09, ’10, ‘11), Francis Basket Foodshelf (‘11), and Saint Paul Area Council of Churches (’13, ’14, ’15).
This year’s UST Libraries Food Drive started during Library Week, April 12th and will run until the end of the semester, May 31st.
We encourage any and every one to donate to this program, regardless of having overdue fines. Consider how fortunate our campus is, with the wonderful community that surrounds us, and give a little back today.
How many of the UST Libraries Food Drives have you donated to? We would love to hear your stories and how these drives may have affected you. #USTLibraries