October 22, 2007

Students can eat for free with donation of supplies

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois University Carbondale students can enjoy a free meal later this month in exchange for donating non-perishable food items, school supplies or toiletries.

The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Rotaract Club is bringing the Hunger Awareness Program to Old Main Restaurant in the Student Center at 5 p.m. on Oct. 30. It's part of the mission of service and addressing social issues locally and internationally for the campus chapter of Rotary International, said Oscar Schlenker, president of the registered student organization.

Rotaract will donate all items collected to the Good Samaritan Food Pantry and The Women's Center, Inc., also of Carbondale.


Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to attend the Hunger Awareness Program at 5 p.m. Oct. 30 in the Student Center's Old Main Restaurant. There's more to the event than meets the eye and it will be a photo-worthy story opportunity.


The Women's Center has been providing support to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault for the past 30 years. The Good Samaritan Food Pantry, located at 700 S. Oakland Ave. in University Baptist Church, provided food to 6,584 people within 2,291 families in eastern Jackson County already in 2007.

Margie Parker, coordinator of the pantry, said the clientele has grown more quickly than usual this year. During the first five months, aid went to an average of 236 families monthly, but during the last five months, the average increased to 280 families each month. The pantry is a component of Good Samaritan Ministries, which also includes a soup kitchen, shelter and transitional housing.

Parker, who is also a member of the Bread for the World, a group committed to ending world hunger, will be the guest speaker for the evening. She'll give insight into the hunger problem, both locally and globally, and discuss how the new Farm Bill impacts hunger. The Hunger Awareness Program gives students new insight into a very real crisis and also benefits two very worthwhile local community programs and their clients, Schlenker said.