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Banking on Change

by Grasyn Turpin

Photo Courtesy of Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana

Every year, the LSUS Department of Human Resources partners with the Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana to provide meals for those in need. The NWLA Food Bank is the largest distributor of public and private emergency food in seven parishes. At this point, they have provided “11.2 million pounds of food to more than 75,000 low income and below poverty level households in northwest Louisiana”. They also house network programs including disaster relief, the Backpack Program (providing 7-10 pounds of food to school-age children so they have food for the weekend and holidays), Kids Cafe After School Meals, Summer Food Service Program, Mobile Pantry, Kids in Distressed Situations, and SNAP.

Considering this organization does so much work for the community, it’s natural to want to give back.

Kristen Fiser is the associate director for Human Resources at LSUS. She started this event because she wanted the university to do a better job of giving back. “The food bank helps so many people in the community and it seemed like a good organization to help. This drive also gets people working together all across campus,” she said.

This year’s LSUS Food Drive will look a little different. Instead of the normal “canned” donations, LSUS will be taking virtual donations to aid in the NWLA Food Bank. LSUS chose to host a virtual drive this year in an effort to promote the health and safety of students and employees. Going virtual will eliminate the amount of contact through boxes and canned goods.

LSUS hopes to collect 10,000 meals to donate to the cause. Each dollar that is donated will provide 4 meals to those who greatly need them. Considering COVID left so many without work, “the need is greater than ever,” says Fiser.

There is also a campus-wide competition that takes place with every drive. Whenever a student donates, they can “comment” which building should receive credit for the donation. Each dollar is converted to meals. Weekly standings are updated within campus-wide emails, and winners are announced at the end of the food drive. The first-place winner will receive the coveted golden can. Second and third place participants receive spirit sticks.

Fiser believes that motivation lies in the cause. “There is always work to do! In general, it is good to get people working together (for a cause or in a team environment) and to help serve our community,” she says.

Students can donate to this website (DONATE HERE). Here, you will choose the amount that you want to donate. The site will show you the number of meals that your donation will provide to those in need. After reviewing your donation, click “checkout”. Don’t forget to comment the building you are representing!