Manchester University
Oak Leaves

December 9, 2016


Competitive Spirit Fuels CBC Food Drive

Jensen Lassiter

The Business Club’s annual Holiday Food Drive collected over 1,7000 items for donation to the local Food Pantry.

The effort was led by Renée Neher, director for Community Outreach within the College of Business. "I was involved with several committees, but Community Outreach has always been more of my calling,” Neher said. While there are many different committees, hers focuses on the community aspect and reaching out to help. All of the food and other items that are donated are given to the Food Pantry in the North Manchester community to help benefit those who need it. "I'm excited to see [the Food Pantry's] reaction when we deliver the goods,” she said. “It's not just ramen and boxed food, but other things as well!"

This year, in order to generate added interest, Naher's committee decided to host a competition to see which group could produce the most cans in a given time. "Competition sparks that giving motive,” Neher said. “There's something about telling someone it's a competition; it makes them try harder and put a lot more into it. Giving is definitely beneficial when paired with a competitive edge!

"It's especially fun when it's for such a great cause,” she added. The theme that the committee chose for this year is “Superheroes,” and each business professor has a sponsored superhero. "It gets super competitive between the professors!” Never said. “Their excitement has pushed this goal even further."

This year, the committee decided to add goods such as toilet paper, paper towels, Kleenex box-es and other items that cannot be bought with food stamps. With its current tally of over 1,700 items, the Food Drive has surpassed the organizers’ original 1,500-item goal. "Last year we re-ceived about 1,200 items, so we set our goal for 1,500,” Neher said. “I was a little nervous that we weren't going to reach it, but then we blew it out of the water compared to last year. 

"When we donated last year, the Food Pantry was amazed,” she continued. “They weren't ex-pecting that much. This year they're not going to expect how much we actually have."

The committee has worked hard in preparing for the Food Drive in recent weeks. "It's definitely a team effort,” Neher said. “We all have to work together on this. Without them it wouldn't have been possible to accomplish this much." 

Not only do their items impact families in the surrounding area and community, but they also im-pact the Committee members and everyone who is involved. "I want more out of life than just going to work and coming home,” Neher said. “I want to give back to the community in many ways, big or small. This is just one way I can get involved. I can see the worst come out in peo-ple during competitions, but this is different. This impacts a lot of people."