By Haley Walls
Ohio Wesleyan University is conducting a Thanksgiving Food Drive to support People In Need (PIN), a local social services agency, from Oct. 28 through Nov. 21.
Collection boxes are located in participating campus departments, including Buildings and Grounds and the Ohio Wesleyan Junior League (OWjL) office, for non-perishable food donations.
This is the third year university offices have collaborated on the Thanksgiving Food Drive.
Buildings and Grounds will pick up the donation boxes from each office at the end of the event and drop them off at PIN’s warehouse.
“We had at least the back of a pick-up truck full of food donations last year,” said Barbara Stults, OWjL office worker and PIN volunteer.
The food drive collects items for PIN’s food pantry, a year-round service that provides nutritious food packages to families in need. Each package includes enough food for multiple meals and is designed specifically for the size and needs of the family being served, according to the organization’s website.
“Every day of the year we’re open, we provide 50 people with at least 9 meals,” PIN’s executive director, Kevin Crowley, said.
Over 600 pounds of the food distributed by the organization in the last fiscal year were from OWU donations, according to PIN’s records.
The items provided by the food pantry come from donations as well as items purchased by PIN. Both the U.S. and Ohio Department of Agricultures regulate the program.
Other services provided by the organization include rent, utility and medical assistance as well as a school shoe program that provides children from low-income families with a new pair of shoes at the beginning of the school year.
From July 2013 to July 2014, the organization provided assistance to more than 17,600 people in Delaware County through their services.
PIN’s signature fundraising event is their Holiday Clearing House, a service that provides new coats, toys and gift cards to families in need on the second Sunday of December each year.
627 families were served during last year’s Holiday Clearing House, including 1,241 children, 765 adults and 214 senior and disabled citizens, according to PIN’s annual report.
The event was started by the Community Chest in 1954 and has been organized by PIN since their first year of operation in 1981.