ASUCC’s Marjan Coester & Catherine Blocher prepare for Thanksgiving basket distribution day
Leeanne Phillips \ The Mainstream

ASUCC Gives back to students for Thanksgiving

ASUCC has been holding an annual Thanksgiving basket program since approximately 2006, which has significantly grown, according to Vyla Grindberg, ASUCC business manager and Marjan Coester Director of Student Engagement. Since approximately 2016, the ASUCC Student Leadership Team has given away 100 baskets per year.

For many people Thanksgiving is a time of joy, filled with happiness, food and company. Even though Thanksgiving is one of America’s most popular holidays, many people go hungry on this day.

ASUCC helps people avoid going hungry on the holidays. As stated on Umpqua Community College’s website, each year ASUCC and the campus community come together to provide Thanksgiving meal baskets to students with families who might otherwise go without for the holiday. ASUCC designates Monday and Tuesday of week 10 of fall term as preparation days, while Wednesday is distribution day.

According to Grindberg, a single Thanksgiving basket costs $50. This means that ASUCC spends around $5,000 on these baskets for students in need per year.

Although many schools and churches across the United States often feed the hungry and poor during the holidays, approximately 35 million Americans – 13 million of those being children – don’t know where their next meal will come from, even on holidays, according to CBS News.

Approximately 57% of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either “low income” or impoverished, according to Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse, and more than 20 million United States students rely on school meal programs to keep from going hungry.

ASUCC Leadership doesn’t take all the credit for the baskets. They say that this project wouldn’t be possible without the support and contributions of the community.

ASUCC has been holding food drives; Sunday’s food drive at Sherm’s had a good turnout, according to Coester.

Grindberg and Coester agreed that their project “falls really well within the lines of ASUCC Leadership.” They also mentioned that they provide non-food items.

On the ASUCC Leadership page on Facebook there is a form to apply for a Thanksgiving basket.

“We know students have been very grateful,”Grindberg and Coester said. They also showed gratitude toward their supporters, saying “providing back to students is one of our cardinal goals.”


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