(Seth Littrell)

By Stephanie Collins

Students and faculty alike have an opportunity to help fight hunger right here in Richmond in collaboration with Residence Life Council (RLC).
Canned food donations for “Homecoming: Be a Hero! Canned Food Drive” will continue to be accepted until 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, by RLC.
The food drive for faculty and staff began Oct. 1, while a separate food drive for the residence halls began Oct. 8.
A contest between the residence halls to see which one receives the most donations will be evaluated by members of RLC after 6 p.m. A pizza party will be given to the winning hall, and all of the collected food will go to the local Richmond food bank God’s Outreach.
Brandon Mandigo, vice president of RLC, said the effort came together after God’s Outreach Madison County Food Bank contacted him stating the Richmond community was in desperate need of a food drive.
“The food bank told me that at this point in time, the amount of food they have to distribute to our community is the lowest it has been in over 12 years,” Mandigo said.
Madison County isn’t the only area suffering though, said Anthony Lowery, director of God’s Outreach.
“It’s a national thing right now,” Lowery said. “The economy is not doing well right now.”
Lowery said the food bank has been having to organize a lot more food drives in order to raise money to purchase food in bulk, but that money donations are much needed right now.
“We are completely funded by the community,” Lowery said. “We can turn every dollar donated into 12 to 14 dollars.”
Mandigo said he was shocked to hear how much the food bank could do with so little and wanted to help out.
“I wanted to do what I could and knew we could get some donations from faculty and staff,” Mandigo said. “It took a while to get it all sorted out, but everyone should be donating food and giving back.”
Each residence hall received a large bin from the food bank on Monday. Any non-perishable food items, such as Ramen noodles and Chef Boyardee, are acceptable.