Riverland food drive destroys expectations

Published 10:26 am Thursday, December 12, 2013

Librarian Jeannie Kearney set a small goal when she helped organize a food drive at Riverland Community College last month: 200 cans of food.

In fact, she and other Riverland staff were hesitant to organize the food drive through the student senate when trying to come up with a project to encourage people to be involved in the community, as some food drives hadn’t gone over well in the past.

But the drive, which ends at 10 a.m. Friday, has already brought in more than 2,000 food items — about 600 donated before Thanksgiving and 1,400 since.

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“I guess I should have added another zero to my goal,” said Kearney, the student senate advisor.

Kearney credits the success of this year’s drive to organizers keeping it in the spotlight at the college. They held a donations battle between the college’s east and west campus to help boost involvement this year. East won by 170 items. A few students dressed up — one wearing a Spam costume and another wearing a costume that looked like a spinach can — to help attract attention for the drive.

The remainder of the food items, like those donated before Thanksgiving, will be donated to the Salvation Army on Friday.

“We’ve just been very excited with how well this has been going,” Kearney said.