The University of Delaware and the Food Bank of Delaware kicked off Blue Hens CAN, the unified campus food drive to benefit the Food Bank of Delaware, during a ceremony held Monday.

Blue Hens CAN

Blue Hens CAN unified campus food drive kicks off at Mentors' Circle

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1:15 p.m., Nov. 12, 2012--The University of Delaware and the Food Bank of Delaware kicked off Blue Hens CAN, the unified campus food drive to benefit the Food Bank of Delaware, during a ceremony held at 9 a.m., Monday, Nov. 12, at Mentors’ Circle.

Blue Hens CAN, a joint venture of the College of Health Sciences (CHS), the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) and the Food Bank of Delaware, will feature a UD food collection bus parked at a different campus location each day of the week to accept items donated by the campus community. The campus community contributed 472 pounds of food on the drive's opening day.

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Tom Sims, deputy dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, welcomed those in attendance to the event and thanked them for their support before turning the event over to University President Patrick Harker and Patricia Beebe, Food Bank of Delaware CEO and president. 

Harker said that with the recent hurricane and the troubles in the economy, Blue Hens CAN could not have come at a better time to help those in need. “This is a community rich in givers. And I know we’re going to stock the Food Bank’s pantries, so that this fall and winter, our neighbors don’t go hungry,” said Harker. “I also know this will become a great tradition at UD -- a great pre-Thanksgiving tradition -- because there’s no better way to give thanks than to simply give.”

Harker also encouraged all of those in attendance to donate blood at the 11th annual Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Have a Heart Blood Challenge on Wednesday, Nov. 14. “We are the reigning conference champions so while you are giving food, also give blood.” 

Beebe echoed these sentiments about the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy along with all of the economic troubles, and also added that another blow to Delawareans in need has been the loss of the Basket Brigade, a longstanding organization that has prepared baskets full of food for Delawareans in the past. “This Thanksgiving, for economic reasons alone, will mean that so many people are depending on us. But then we have the hurricane and we have a large supplier of baskets in Delaware that is no longer in business so we really need to do whatever we can to fill as much of the need for the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Beebe. 

Beebe added that she is thrilled to have another event that pairs UD and the Food Bank of Delaware. “This is my second favorite place to be. My first favorite, of course, is the Food Bank of Delaware, but my second favorite is the University of Delaware. We have such great partnerships,” said Beebe. “The Garden for the Community has been great, and it is fitting that it would be the dietetics students here because of course we have a number of them who do volunteer work at the Food Bank of Delaware. Right now, I counted this morning when I was driving in, we have 10 graduates from UD on our staff of 50. So we also understand and acknowledge first hand your ability.” 

After the opening remarks, several donations were collected. YouDee even got in on the act, helping volunteers from the Dietetics and Nutrition Club load donations onto the UD bus. 

Blue Hens CAN continues from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at Laird Campus between Smith and Independence halls. The Interfraternity Council will be on hand volunteering to collect donations. 

For a list of items being accepted by the Food Bank of Delaware, click here.

Article by Adam Thomas

Photos by Danielle Quigley

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