Special to The Times-Tribune
Hunger is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “a craving or urgent need for food or a specific nutrient.” How long do we go without getting “hunger pains?” Six or seven hours, maybe? Due to the economic state of the country more and more people are experiencing hunger and food insecurity caused by lack of food. Sometimes people don’t even know when the next time they will be able to eat again. Some of these people live in our own communities, and they might be experiencing these aches without our knowing their circumstances.
University of the Cumberlands students, faculty and staff came to the aid of these individuals throughout the community when they participated in March Madness Food Drive, a local competition among colleges and universities. The university won the competition, coming in first place ahead of second place winner Somerset Community College and third place Union College. The competition was organized by Kentucky Harvest Southeast, and from March 7 to April 15, students from universities across Kentucky collected non-perishable food items to compete against colleges like Union, SCC and EKU.
While the University was competing against others, there was also a competition on campus between the girl’s and boy’s dorms to see which could raise the most food. Although this pushed the students to do more, the realization that they were helping others inspired the students to go the extra mile.
Cumberlands collected a total of 2,562.5 lbs., and donations were made from all around the campus and the Williamsburg community. Drop-off points were established in every dormitory and in on-campus sites for commuters and faculty and staff, and sites were set up at the local Sav-A-Lot and Dollar General stores, at which more than 500 lbs. of food was donated.
In order to keep the competition fair, the weight of the food collected was divided by the total number of full-time students living on campus. At the end of six weeks, the school with the highest poundage per student would win a basketball signed by University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari.
Because of the large success of the food drive, plans are being made to have a food drive once yearly, with a “golden can” trophy that would pass from the past year’s winner to the current year’s champion. The Calipari-signed basketball, however, is UC’s to keep.