November 08, 2018

Thanks “Giving Back” Food Drive Wednesday to benefit SIU students in need

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Thanks “Giving Back” Food Drive on Wednesday at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is a chance to help Salukis in need.

Since opening its doors in August 2016, the Saluki Food Pantry has served more than 2,400 students and their families who suffer from food needs or insecurities.

Three ways to donate

Donations of no-perishable food items and toiletries for the Saluki Food Pantry are being accepted in several convenient ways that day:

  • Curbside drop-off – drop donations in front of the Student Center’s main entrance between 7:30 and 9 a.m. Donors can enjoy complimentary cup of Starbucks coffee as a thank-you.
  • Art Gallery – Anytime between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., drop off donations at the Student Center’s Art Gallery, located on the first floor near the south escalator. Carts will be available to bring in larger donations; call 618/453-3769 for assistance.
  • Office pickup – Schedule a donation pickup for your campus office. Pickups are available any time that day or in the preceding days. To schedule a pickup, call 618/453-8185 or email

Some items particularly needed

Donations of any non-perishable food item, as well as basic toiletries, are most welcome. However, organizations said the three most-needed items are:

  • Pasta – spaghetti noodles, fettuccini, rotini, canned pasta.
  • Canned meats and beans – tuna, Vienna sausages, canned chicken breast, dried or canned beans.
  • Cereal/breakfast items – dry cereal, oatmeal, breakfast bars.

Students have already done their part

The Leadership Development Program, a campus registered student organization, recently hosted its own food drive to benefit the pantry and show support for fellow Salukis in need. The students collected about 2,000 items during their Homecoming drive with 26 registered student organizations participating.

Now, faculty, staff and SIU supporters are invited to show their support.

“The Student Center and Plant and Service Operations are asking everyone to be thankful and give back to the students,” Kent Epplin, associate director of the Student Center, said. “We hope campus groups and offices will challenge each other to see who can collect the most items.”

The top effort earns a prize

The coveted “Golden Can” award will go to the SIU group donating the largest number of items for the food drive.

Find the current complete list of most-needed items and additional information on the Saluki Food Pantry website.