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School teams with Just Food to fight hunger

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

LAWRENCE — The staff development committee at the University of Kansas School of Business is teaming up with Just Food, the food bank in Douglas County, and will sponsor a food drive Tuesday, Feb. 14 through Saturday, March 17 at Summerfield Hall. Donations received through the drive will help Just Food provide food to Douglas County residents through their food pantry, and through the 20 partner organizations' food pantries and feeding programs.

It is sometimes difficult to believe that hunger exists in Douglas County. Most people think of hunger in terms of famine and mass starvation – terrible tragedies, but not something that affects people each and every day.

Hunger in our community is often more subtle. It's a child who stuffs their pockets during lunch at school so they have food to eat at home in the evening. It's a parent who is – ironically – overweight, because sugar and carbohydrate-laden foods are often the least expensive at the grocery store. It's a senior citizen who goes without food in order to buy medicine, further jeopardizing his or her already fragile health.

The reality is that there are hungry people in Douglas County. Just Food provides food assistance to nearly 5,000 people each month through its four programs: food pantry, mobile food pantry, commodity distribution, and partner organizations. More than 40% of those served are children and senior citizens.

Your contribution during Feb. 14 and March 17 will help fight hunger and give hope to those who need it. As you head out to Summerfield Hall, be sure to grab a few items to show your support. Your generosity makes a difference.

"It is important for the university and the school to connect with the community. Working together we can achieve so much more. We set up the goal of 700 as a simple beginning by taking the number of faculty and staff and aiming towards 5 items per member," said Karla Williams, director of financial operations at the School of Business. "I would like to see us surpass this goal and reach 1000 items."

Most needed food items: Boxed meals (Hamburger Helper, Pasta Roni); canned meats, such as tuna and chicken; peanut butter and jelly; canned soup; crackers; canned pasta (Spaghetti O's)

Financial contributions: Donate online at www.justfoodfund.org. For every $1 donated, Just Food can provide five meals.

About Just Food – Just Food, the food bank in Douglas County, serves 8,000 residents each month through its food pantry, mobile food pantry, federal commodity distribution and partner organization program. For more information, visit justfoodks.org or call 785-856-7030.

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