Helping to Feed the Hungry

The University of Saint Francis launched two community service projects in September to provide food for area families in need. One is the fifth annual "USF Feeds the Fort" food drive, and the other is a ceramics project by School of Creative Arts students in support of the Empty Bowls fundraiser for a second consecutive year.

USF Feeds the Fort began Sept. 17. In keeping with the university's mission to provide for local residents in need, the goal of the drive is to collect 35,000 food items to help stock local food banks and soup kitchens in time for the holidays. Food collection barrels are located in buildings across campus, and the community is invited to participate. Especially needed are nonperishable items including rice, beans, canned foods, boxed foods, canned meats, peanut butter and powdered milk. Food in glass containers cannot be accepted.

Those wishing to contribute to USF Feeds the Fort may also make cash or check donations. These may be sent to the attention of Colleen Huddleson, University of Saint Francis School of Creative Arts, 2701 Spring St., Fort Wayne, IN 46808 for distribution to the food banks. Huddleson may be contacted at chuddleson@sf.edu. Donors may also make direct monetary contributions, with checks made payable to Community Harvest Food Bank, 999 E. Tillman Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46816; St. Mary's Soup Kitchen, 1101 Lafayette St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802; or Associated Churches of Fort Wayne, 602 E. Wayne St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802.

The food drive concludes on Nov. 19 at USF's North Campus parking lot, with all collected food being loaded onto a truck for distribution to local food banks. Anyone wanting more information may call the School of Creative Arts at 260-399-7700, ext. 8001.

USF ceramics students created 300 bowls on Sept. 21 in instructor Scott Ziegler's class for the Empty Bowls fundraiser, which provides food for the Interfaith Hospitality Network, a Fort Wayne shelter that helps keep homeless families together. The students' bowls will be fired and decorated on or near Oct. 12. Then, on the last two Sundays in October and the first two Sundays in November, churches participating in the fundraiser will offer a soup-and-bread meal at $10 per person (no charge for children under age 5). Bowls will be sold for a minimum $5 donation each, but givers may donate any amount they wish.

All funds raised from the sale of meals and bowls will go to Interfaith Hospitality Network's effort to feed and support families. According to Ahnee Conner, director of Interfaith Hospitality Network, the organization raised $4,500-$5,000 last year. With 10 churches involved this year, they are hoping to double that figure. Anyone wanting to reach Conner may call 260-241-5613.