This month a new canned-food drive at University of Richmond will help feed the hungry by giving food and money to the Central Virginia Food Bank.
Student organizations have united joined to run URThankful, the replacement of Trick-or-Treat Street (TOTS), the Halloween-themed festival held on Old Fraternity Row for children.
"Trick-or-Treat Street was a way for the University of Richmond community to come together and support a cause, not just as an individual fraternity or sorority chapter," said Garrison Weaver, a member of the interfraternity council.
This year the Oct. 29 football game against Massachusetts conflicted with the scheduled date for TOTS, for the first time in the program's 12-year history, Weaver said. According to tailgating rules, lodges have to remain open for football games, Weaver said.
"We decided to change things up a little bit and push the event back a couple of weeks," Weaver said. "We reframed it as an event centered around Thanksgiving and making it more of a push to be a unifying event instead of a Greek unifying event."
The food drive campaign for URThankful began Oct. 29 and will last until Nov. 19.
Campus Activities Board members Jillian Ertel and Julia Dowling advertised the drive in Tyler Haynes Commons last weekend. Dowling said more students were willing to donate because they accepted SpiderCard payments.
Different student organizations are participating in URThankful including CAB, Ertel said.
According the program's online donation website, more than 200,000 people in the Richmond region don't know the source of their next meal.
"What I really like about the food bank is that they give a lot of it toward kids," said Amanda White, a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and vice president of URThankful. "I think it's a great cause too because when parents have children, and may have lost their jobs or whatever, kids are the ones who are really affected and when they have to pay an immediate bill, food often falls to the back burner."
"I hope it's something the students and staff will get involved in," said Alison Bartel Keller, the director of Greek life. "It doesn't take much to give cans."
URThankful may be modified in the future, and that it has the potential to be replicated, Keller said.
Sponsors of URThankful will have different attractions available on Saturday, Nov. 12, to celebrate their collected efforts. It will feature an inflated obstacle course and horse-drawn carriage rides, along with interactive stations led by smaller organizations, White said. She said the festival would be free for students to attend.
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