Donate Now to UA4Food
Tucson has the sixth highest poverty rate of large metropolitan areas in the United States, and 25 percent of Arizona children are at risk for hunger, according to the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. The UA's annual employee food drive, UA4Food, is an attempt to help some of those in need.
Between now and April 1, donations of non-perishable food items will be accepted in UA4Food boxes across campus and during food drives organized by UA4Food ambassadors. Although UA4Food encompasses food drives held on campus throughout the year, the campaign peaks in the spring with several big events. All donations benefit the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona.
For every $1 donated, the food bank can distribute about four meals.
"Everyone is generous with food and cash donations during the holiday season, but the need for food is ever-present," said Sheila McGinnis, director of outreach and community partnerships in UA Community Relations. "I think people would be quite surprised to know how many people go to bed hungry in Tucson. … We need to help our neighbors."
To find your nearest donation location or learn about upcoming food drives on campus, contact one of the ambassadors listed on the UA4Food website (PDF).
The drive will culminates on April 1 with the third annual Stuff the Cat Tran event, organized by the Staff Advisory Council, Parking and Transportation Services and UA Community Relations. From 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., organizers will attempt to fill an entire Cat Tran with food donations. The shuttle will be parked in the passenger drop-off zone at North Cherry Avenue and East University Boulevard. Departments and units will be able to bring the donations they've collected. This year, Facilities Management also will help transport donations to the Cat Tran. For more information, contact Claudia Arias at 520-621-8051.
Donations also will be accepted during Spring Fling on April 11. By donating four cans of food, you can get a $5 discount on a wristband for the day. Wristbands normally cost $25 and are good for unlimited rides at the carnival. Simply bring the donations to the front entrance to receive the discount. For more information, call the Spring Fling hotline at 520-621-5610.
Some of the most needed food items include:
- Peanut butter
- Canned soups
- Canned fruit and vegetables
- Canned tomato products
- Canned meats
Last year, UA4Food collected 22,827 pounds of food and $23,623. Since its inception, the campaign has collected 171,827 pounds of food and raised more than $275,368.
In addition to donations, McGinnis said volunteers are needed to help gather food and donations.
"Our campus is so large, it's impossible to touch everyone without a lot of help from our volunteer food ambassadors," she said.
If you're interested in becoming a UA4Food ambassador, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about UA4Food or to make a monetary donation to the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, visit ua4food.arizona.edu.