Eastern football team helps move 5,352 pounds of food to Cheney Food Bank
A record-breaking Eastern Washington University Food Drive ended recently with 5,352 pounds of food and $13,734.32 in cash donated to local charities and schools.
And members of the Eastern Washington University football team were on hand on Sept. 8 when the food was transferred from EWU’s campus to the Cheney Food Bank.
“We couldn’t do it without them,” said drive chair Nadine Arévalo, who is the wife of EWU President Dr. Rodolfo Arévalo. “Every year they come down and I think they’re surprised about the number of boxes they have to move. It’s great – we love them and thank them for helping.”
The fourth year of the drive ended on Aug. 31, and the cash raised included a $6,649.32 donation to the Cheney Food Bank. Another $1,465 was given to the Second Harvest food bank and $1,000 and 79 backpacks were presented to Cheney Outreach to help needy students with school supplies.
The remaining $4,620 was provided to the national program Communities in Schools, which gives to needy area youth a backpack of food each weekend to help supplement the weekday free breakfast and lunch program at the schools. The cost is $165 per student per school year, and EWU’s contribution helped fund the program for 28 students.
Arévalo said the overall total of cash raised in the EWU Food Drive was about $700 more than the previous year.
“Every year it just gets bigger and better,” she said. “We think we aren’t going to bring in as much as we did the year before and we out-do ourselves every year. There was even money coming in after the drive ended on Aug. 31st.”
A campus group called “Helping Hands” won the team competition.
“Helping Hands was fantastic,” Arevalo complimented. “They thought outside of the box and did a raffle, and drew in more money that way. And it showed – they won.”
In fact, Arevalo’s own team finished in second place – losing the food drive portion by 159 pounds. She even admitted to contributing to Helping Hands during one of their food drives outside a local grocery store she happened to be at.
“They were just working their little hearts out, so I decided to give them a couple of cans of food,” she admitted with a chuckle. “But it didn’t equal 159 pounds, so I’m okay with that – my donation wasn’t the reason they won.”
Kathleen Warren served as co-chair of the event.