By Rachel Robin
CCC Journalism Program
’Tis the season for giving. At Camden County College from now until Dec. 6 you can help the hungry by donating food.
The food drive being held at Camden County College is collecting non-perishable, protein-enriched food items. Donations are being collected at the Blackwood campus, Rohrer Center, Camden campus and Regional Emergency Training Center. Donations will go to the South Jersey Food Bank.
The food bank serves Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem County. In these four counties 173,140 people are in need of food, according to the food bank’s website. This makes up 13.2 percent of the population. About 50,000 of these people are younger than age 18.
“People often think that the holiday season is the only time to give, but that is wrong. People in these four counties are in need year round, hunger is a year round problem,” said Sabine Mehnert, the community engagement manager at the South Jersey Food Bank.
The more people can donate, the more the college community can feed hungry people in the area, Mehnert said.
Said Jacqueline Tenuto, assistant dean for student development and support at Camden County College, “I hope to get a lot of donations. There are a lot of families suffering so it would be great if at least each person could donate one can good.”
On the Blackwood campus, the collection bucket is on the second floor in the lobby of the College Community Center. In addition, the Game Design Guild at Camden County College is having a gaming day during which participants have to donate a non-perishable food item to play the games.
Collection bins are also located in the lobby of the Rohrer Center, the first floor of the technology center and the lobby of College Hall on the Camden campus and the lobby of the Regional Emergency Training Center
The food bank accounts for 75 percent of the food used by pantries, 57 percent of the food used by soup kitchens and 48 percent of the food needed at homeless shelters in the four counties it serves, according to its website.
In many cases, the food bank is the last hope for these organizations and without the food bank’s support, many of these programs to help the hungry would shut down, Mehnert said.
“The food drive has done very well in the past and we expect it does well this year,” Tenuto said.