It isn’t every day college students have leftover money. Near the end of fall quarter, Barbara Anderson, sophomore biology major, realized she had not even come close to spending the minimum of $462 that would be charged to her cafeteria account for the quarter.
Rather than stock up on cases of Snapple she didn’t need or want, she wanted to use the money to help people who might not have enough to eat, such as people at the Farm Labor Homes for migrant farm workers, where she had spent time with a family for a class project.
Phil Levine, executive chef with Sodexho Food Services at Walla Walla College, supported the idea, and gave Anderson and fellow sophomore Toby McCandless, Spanish and theology double major, permission to post sign-up sheets in the cafeteria for students who wanted to use their remaining money to buy food for residents of the Farm Labor Homes.
Levine even arranged for Sodexho to donate about $150 worth of dry goods, such as pasta and beans. The Sodexho Foundation has a program that supports innovative programs that fight hunger in the United States. The foundation encourages and supports their employees’ service toward hunger-related initiatives in their local communities.
Anderson and McCandless raised about $600 with less than 24 hours' notice, with nine people donating their remaining cafeteria account balances. They bought fruits, vegetables, oatmeal and 25-pound bags of rice and beans, among other food supplies. They divided the food into 120 portions, one for each family, and delivered the food on the same December Sabbath the Spanish Club was delivering donated toys to children at the Farm Labor Homes.
They implemented the plan again at the end of winter quarter. Advanced warning enabled more people to participate. Approximately $840 was raised.
“We were really excited about it,” says Anderson, “because people always have so much money left on their accounts. A lot of people, to meet their minimum, buy things they wouldn’t really need or want. We thought this would be a really good way to use that money and help people who really need it.”