PLYMOUTH,N.H.-The Plymouth State University Baseball team collected 3,040 pounds of food for the Community Closet Food Pantry in Plymouth over the course of two weeks in early November. Players left donation bins at the Hannaford store in Plymouth and at the Hartman Union Building on campus, and also went door-to-door in student neighborhoods seeking additional food items.
“We’ve been doing this for three or four years now, and it’s getting better every year,” said Brandon Hodge, a PSU senior and team co-captain, “People are usually pretty grateful and pretty generous. It makes us realize how fortunate we really are.”
Chris Welch, a junior who serves as co-captain, was equally proud of his team’s work. “It’s a great way to help out the community, it’s our way of giving back and showing that the team is behind the community,” said Welch. The team is coached by Dennis McManus.
Along with the individual donations, Sodexho assisted with food collection and Hannaford pitched in by donating cases of food and beverage items, all of which were brought to the Hartman Union Building on Friday, November 16 for a weigh-in.
Jackie Johnson, a student who helps coordinate many of the hunger and homelessness events on campus, explained that the food drive was part of an effort to keep the campus community aware of such issues throughout the school year, instead of a specific week or month. She also noted that this year, students had made it their focus “to think locally, to do things locally.”
While the food drive was underway, a separate drive was also carried out on campus to gather toiletry items for women and children at local shelters. Katherine Tardif of the Campus Ministry said that 133 pounds of toiletries had been gathered, of which 55 pounds would be sent for children at Voices Against Violence in Plymouth. The remaining 78 pounds were destined for the Bridge House shelter, also in Plymouth.
Keeping with the year-round emphasis on hunger and homelessness issues, students also participated in a Crop Walk in Plymouth on Saturday, November 17 to raise additional funds for local food assistance, while on December 5 there will be a fundraiser for the Bridge House in the form of a “hunger banquet,” which will call attention to world hunger by providing participants, based on the percentage of those attending, with dinner ranging from a full meal to a cup of rice.